Lindsay Hogan of Locust Valley shoots from mid-range during the Nassau...

Lindsay Hogan of Locust Valley shoots from mid-range during the Nassau Class B girls basketball semifinals against East Rockaway at the Mack Sports Complex on Monday. Credit: James Escher

The next game is the game.

It’s the game every Locust Valley girls basketball player has circled on her calendar (even if the team won’t admit it). It’s the chance to not only win a county title but to make Long Island history in the process.

Top-seeded Locust Valley defeated No. 4 East Rockaway, 66-27, in the Nassau Class B semifinals at Hofstra on Monday afternoon. Locust Valley (20-0) has won 51 straight games — and the Long Island girls basketball record for most consecutive wins (set by Hempstead from 1980-83, according to Newsday records) is 52.

The Falcons will play Cold Spring Harbor (15-5) in the Nassau Class B final at Hofstra on March 2 at 4:30 p.m.

The coaches and players said they’ve reached this milestone by focusing on winning one game at a time. Now they are one win away from a share of the record.

"Hey, it’s the next game," point guard Payton Tini said. "We’ll be there to win."

The historical aspect hasn’t been lost on anyone on the team, even if players and coaches have tried to downplay it to avoid distractions throughout the season.

"It’s incredibly special," coach Michael Guidone said. "You couldn’t write a better script, but we realize that it’s all for naught if we don’t come out and play well against a very good Cold Spring Harbor team."

"It’s definitely going to be crazy," Tini said. "Everyone’s going to give their best game and it comes down to who wants it more, and I think we will."

Tini led Locust Valley with 24 points, two assists and three steals. She scored 12 points during a 31-4 run that spanned nine minutes as the Falcons took a 40-11 lead with 1:15 remaining in the second quarter.

"I felt good, but I owe it all to my teammates," Tini said. "Defense gets a steal and we break it out right away. I’m up there, but it comes from them on defense, so it’s really a credit to everyone."

"She runs our stuff perfectly," Guidone said. "She’s a coach’s dream."

Lindsay Hogan had 16 points, nine rebounds, six assists and six steals. The chemistry between Hogan and Tini was obvious.

"I know for a fact when I get Lindsay the ball, it’s going in all the time," Tini said. "And I know when Lindsay gets a rebound, automatically she’s looking for me. We just see each other and work off each other all the time."

Olivia Del Tatto added six points and 12 rebounds.

Emma Poland had 12 points for East Rockaway (10-10).


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