Gabby Becerra stepped up Friday when the Commack girls basketball team needed her most.
Becerra, who finished with eight points and 10 rebounds, faked her defender, drove to the basket and finished a lefty layup with 1.5 seconds remaining to cap a wild comeback as Commack (2-0) topped Sachem East, 53-52, in a Suffolk I game that was a rematch of last year’s county championship game.
The Cougars trailed 40-25 entering the fourth quarter and found themselves down by as many as 20 in the final period.
“We were very tough and very tenacious in that fourth quarter,” Commack coach Denis Conroy said. “Sometimes you have to create your own luck and that’s what we did.”
Sachem East seemed to have control of the game before two players fouled out. At that point Conroy said the man-to-man press his team had been employing started paying dividends and the Cougars were able to cut into the lead.
“I called a timeout down 11 and told them we could still win this game,” Conroy said.
Caroline Kelly entered the game with 2:40 remaining and hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to five and another three later in the quarter brought Commack to within three points.
A bucket and a stop in the final 30 seconds gave Commack the ball down one with a chance to take the lead. A broken inbounds play found Becerra with the ball in the corner before she hit the winning shot.
Commack finished the game on a 25-4 run over the final 5:03.
“We’ve had some battles with these guys,” Conroy said. “It’s a rivalry that’s intense but it’s born out of respect.”