Harborfields senior guard Falyn Dwyer never got nervous.
Not when her teammate, senior point guard Christiana de Borja, went to the bench midway through the second quarter with three fouls. (de Borja did not return until the fourth quarter). And not when Shoreham-Wading River got within four points at the 2:59 mark of the fourth quarter.
“I don’t remember being phased,” Dwyer said. “I felt like we had dominated most of the game and would find a way to win.”
She was right. Dwyer had a game-high 13 points as No. 2 and host Harborfields held off No. 3 Shoreham-Wading River, 49-35, in a Class A girls basketball semifinal, Tuesday night.
“I had a lot of faith in Falyn and my teammates,” said de Borja, who picked up a technical foul and her third personal foul with 3:54 left in the second quarter and Harborfields leading 13-11. “I knew they would do fine. This team is not just one person.”
With de Borja — the Tornadoes’ leading scorer in the regular season — on the bench until the beginning of the fourth quarter, Harborfields (19-1) outscored SWR 22-13 and led 35-24 after three quarters.
Dwyer was aggressive attacking the basket and scored seven points in the third quarter. Senior Kate Tardo (4 points, 4 assists) took over the ballhandling duties for de Borja, and senior forward Grace Zagaja was a force underneath the basket all night with 10 points (4 in the third quarter) and 23 rebounds.
When Zagaja, who is going to the Naval Academy, was told of rebounding numbers she was surprised.
“I did,” Zagaja asked.
“She’s a garbage can for us. She cleans everything up,” said Dwyer with a laugh of Zagaja. “I mean that in the most positive way.”
The Tornadoes, whose only loss came on Jan. 17 against Comsewogue, seemed in control. But SWR (18-3) scored 11 of the first 14 points of the fourth quarter and trailed 39-35 with 2:59 to play. Mikayla Dwyer and Mackenzie Zajac each had nine points for Shoreham.
But Harborfields called timeout and set up a beautiful press-break play that had de Borja hit Dwyer with a great pass and Dwyer made the layup to give the Tornadoes a 41-35 lead.
Shoreham did not score again, and de Borja scored eight of her 10 points in the final 85 seconds.
“We struggled against their man-to-man defense,” Shoreham coach Adam Lievre said. “We battled like we have all year, but we just came up a little short.”
“Everything has got to be hard for us this season. We’re only up four and it seems like we should be up by 1,000,” Harborfields coach G. Davis Lavey said. “But I’m always confident with our tough defense and our seniors.”