It was a historic evening in more ways than one for the Floyd girls basketball team.
The Colonials clinched their first trip to the playoffs since the 2012-13 season after a thrilling 46-38 victory over host Sachem East in Suffolk League I girls basketball Thursday night. It was also the first time Floyd defeated Sachem East in program history, going back 17 years according to Floyd coach Rich Sinclair, and Floyd did so by holding Sachem East without a point in the fourth quarter.
Jacky Sutherland had 18 points and fellow sophomore Kayla Gilmore totaled 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals to lead Floyd. The Colonials’ young core has played together dating to CYO and youth programs and they wanted to be the ones to lead the Floyd program to a brighter future.
"We both expected it and we both knew what we needed to do," Gilmore said. "We knew we needed to be the ones and what our team needed from us and I think every game we proved ourselves more and more."
"Even though they are young, they don’t play young," Sinclair added. "They come up big in every moment and they never let me down."
Floyd (7-3) opened the first quarter on a 15-2 run and took a 31-19 lead into halftime. But Sachem East (7-3) went on a 16-0 run over the majority of the third quarter before Gilmore ended the period by going the length of the court for a layup. Sachem East led 38-34 entering the fourth quarter.
"Every team goes on runs," Sutherland said. "We went on runs, they went on runs but we just finished stronger and pulled out with the win."
Floyd outscored Sachem East 12-0 in the fourth quarter. Sutherland had six points in the final period.
"That’s remarkable to show what happened to us in the third quarter and eight minutes later show what they did," Sinclair said. "And that just shows the promise of these kids and their ability to deal with adversity."
Kayden Meyer, also a sophomore, added nine points for Floyd. Abby Morrongiello had 10 points for Sachem East.
Sinclair knew Sutherland and Gilmore when the two were in fourth grade. He pulled them up to varsity as eighth graders and believed the program’s turnaround would be sooner, rather than later.
"I knew I had something special," he said. "I figured we might have made the playoffs last year, but obviously there was COVID and everything, but this year worked out for us."