Elizabeth Kenney #12 of Mineola, center, gets a congratulatory hug...

Elizabeth Kenney #12 of Mineola, center, gets a congratulatory hug from twin sister Caitlin Kenney #20 after draining a tie-breaking three-pointer with three seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Mustangs a 58-55 win over host Floral Park in a Conference A-IV girls basketball game on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Credit: James Escher

Nearly everybody in the gymnasium expected Mineola standout Abby Walters to take the shot out of a timeout in the closing seconds with the score tied. Selfishly, Walters would have loved to also.

But luckily for Mineola, Walters isn’t a selfish player. And when the Floral Park defense put all its attention on the standout senior guard, Walters had complete confidence in her teammates to deliver the victory.

Walters received the inbounds pass near midcourt and Floral Park immediately charged two defenders at her. Instead of forcing a shot with 8.4 seconds remaining, Walters found Elizabeth Kenney in the corner and Kenney sank the winning three-pointer with three seconds remaining in the fourth quarter as Mineola defeated host Floral Park, 58-55, in Nassau Conference A-IV girls basketball action Friday evening.

"They were up on me and Liz was wide open," Walters said. "I knew that was her moment and she hit it."

Kenney felt confident after the release, but a part of her was also surprised to receive the pass.

"I kind of thought it was going in, but it was crazy," Kenney said. "I was like ‘Thank you, Abby.’ "

Mineola (7-0) held a 55-49 advantage with 1:44 remaining in the fourth quarter before Floral Park scored six straight points, including Emma Kline’s layup with 8.4 seconds remaining to tie the score at 55, before Kenney’s winner.

"I don’t think they expected Abby not to take that shot," coach Kayla Koch said. "And for Abby to have that trust and make that pass was huge for us and totally selfless. It was just a great finish and a total team win."

Walters finished with 16 points, Sophie Schrader and Brianna Robinson each had 11 points and Kenney added 10 points in the win. Walters made a three-pointer to end the third quarter to tie the score at 38 as Mineola outscored Floral Park 20-9 in the period.

Rather than focus on her own shot in the quarter, Walters — again — passed.

"Everybody’s shots were big," she said. "It was the same as anyone else that scored. Every single shot was key for this win."

Floral Park (2-1) scored the game’s first 11 points and opened an 18-5 lead after the first quarter. The Knights’ lead jumped to as much as 29-11 before Mineola climbed back into the contest.

"We were able to put ourselves together and fight back," Walters said. "We never gave up."

Mineola outscored Floral Park 40-26 in the econd half.

"This just showed us how resilient we are and how much we can trust each other," Koch said. "A win like this really shows us we can come out on top and trust each other and we are not a team that’s ever going to give up, regardless of the situation."

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