A go-ahead three-pointer by Destiny Howell late in the fourth quarter was just the opening act of what would be the Glen Cove guard’s takeover.
The freshman struggled with her shooting most of the game but caught fire when her first of three three-pointers in the final 3:37 broke a tie against host Floral Park, leading Glen Cove to a 51-36 win in a Nassau A-III girls basketball game Friday night.
Her first score from deep broke a tie at 35. Her next pushed the lead to 43-35. Her final three, with 1:16 left, made it 46-35, effectively sealing the victory.
“I was just trying to get my team up and get this win,” said Howell, who scored 11 of her 18 points in the final four minutes. “We got it.”
Floral Park entered the fourth quarter trailing 35-29 but went on a 6-0 run capped by Marykate Guerriero’s jumper. That’s when Howell took control.
Jump shooting was the difference in a game that was closer than the final score indicated. Open looks stemmed from the inside presence of Glen Cove’s 6-3 forward Grace Brady, who fell a rebound shy of a triple-double and finished with 12 points, 10 blocks and nine boards.
Floral Park (2-1) defenders wisely concentrated on the post and Brady, who is set to play at Division II Point Loma Nazarene University in California next year. Against teams that lack size, Brady can dominate games.
But Brady was met by double-teams and the athletic combination of Natalie Hickman (6-0), Faith Balletta (5-9) and Aideen Gill (5-10) forced her to kick the ball out. From there, excellent ball movement found open shooters.
Starters Trinity Hudson, Amara Phillip, Grace Woods, Howell and Brady each had at least two assists.
“That was one of our strategies we came up with at the half, just to get the ball moving on the outside with me on the inside to create that double-team and an open space on the outside,” Brady said.
It was the ideal strategy to counteract the defense of the defending Long Island Class A champions. A win of this magnitude — especially on the road — makes Glen Cove (3-1) a serious contender in the conference.
“It definitely puts Glen Cove’s name on the map,” Howell said. “We are getting better as a group and as a program.”
Perhaps this was just the opening act of Glen Cove’s takeover.