MacArthur's Meaghan Campbell directs the play during a Nassau Conference...

MacArthur's Meaghan Campbell directs the play during a Nassau Conference AA-1 girls basketball game against Jericho in Levittown on Friday. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

The MacArthur girls basketball team hasn’t lost a conference game since 2021. The Generals have won 36 straight conference games after back-to-back 12-0 conference seasons and starting off 10-0 in Nassau Conference AA-I action this year.

They haven’t done so by stud basketball players that play the sport 300 days a year, but rather with an athletic core playing with an unselfish attitude. And that’s something coach Dave Radtke thinks benefits them on the hardwood.

“We don’t really have basketball players but when it comes down to crunch time, we’ve seen over the years they just don’t crumble at the end because of all their experience in other sports,” Radtke said. “The pressure doesn’t bother them. Even though they aren’t basketball-first kids, it really doesn’t bother them.”

MacArthur capitalizes on its athleticism by pressing on nearly every possession and playing a zone defense. Skills learned from sports like soccer and lacrosse have helped the players understand the concepts with zones, traps and pressure defense even quicker.

Offensively, the Generals play with an unselfish attitude. Only two players average more than 10 points a game with Meaghan Campbell at 13 points per game along with Gabby Nicolini (10.2) and Sara Kealey (9.1) leading the balanced attack.

“Whether it’s putting up points or playing great defense or whatever is needed, everyone has a role that’s needed and not everyone’s role is the same every game,” said Campbell, a sophomore forward. “One game, Sara (Kealey) could be the leading scorer, the next she could be the leading person in steals. Everyone just has what they need to do and they know it well.”

“I feel that’s made a huge difference because it shows it’s not just one person leading this team,” said Kealey, a senior guard. “It’s not an independent team, it’s a team effort.”

Radtke said there’s not much discussion around the conference winning streak and just sees it more as a result of focusing on playing as a team in each contest.

“They just go out and play, they don’t even realize that,” Radtke said. “Some other people are making more of it than they do, they just want to win and it’s a great thing.”

MacArthur is 13-3 overall and after losing in the quarterfinals in back-to-back seasons, their goals are making it at least to the semifinals on a neutral court.

“They’re just looking to win and get the ball in the basket and it’s a great thing that, at least to me, they don’t care about the numbers,” Radtke said. “They don’t care about the accolades, they don’t care about the streak, they just want to win and keep playing.”

Milestone tracker

Emma Heaney set the Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK girls basketball all-time scoring record after getting 23 points in a 40-24 victory over Port Washington on Jan. 26. The junior had 932 points at the game’s conclusion, breaking Krystal Korason’s record of 917. Heaney scored 34 in Saturday's 62-46 victory over Oceanside and now has 982 career points. Brianna Amenta had 18 for Oceanside, surpassing 1,000.

Long Island Lutheran guard Lauryn Swann had a huge day on and off the court on Saturday. She became the fourth Lutheran senior to commit to a Division I program Arizona. Shortly afterward, Swann had 38 points and seven steals in a 117-33 win over Brooklyn Law and Tech. Lutheran also had a pair of girls reach 1,000 points when Syla Swords scored 19 in a 113-43 victory over St. Thomas Aquinas (NJ) on Tuesday. Kate Koval scored her 1,000th in a 77-59 victory over Red Bank Catholic (NJ) on Jan. 27.

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