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Marykate Guerriero leads three parade in Floral Park’s win

Marykate Guerriero of Floral Park High School looks

Marykate Guerriero of Floral Park High School looks on against Valley Stream North Nigh School during the basketball match on Jan. 14, 2017 in Floral Park, New York. Credit: Anna Sergeeva

Floral Park’s points don’t just come in bunches. They come in threes.

Five players combined to make 10 three-pointers for Floral Park Saturday, led by Marykate Guerriero’s five, who had all of hers in the first 10 minutes.

Guerriero scored a game-high 18 points to lead the host Knights to a 53-16 girls basketball win over Valley Stream North (1-10, 0-5) in Nassau A-III.

“I felt good today, but it’s also easier when there’s not somebody face guarding me,” Guerriero said. “They were playing more of a zone than a man, so we had our shots and took what was open.”

It seemed like nearly everyone was in rhythm.

Natalie Hickman made two shots from deep and Ashley Corcoran, Victoria Craig and Alyssa DiLorenzo each hit a triple as well.

Crisp ball movement along the perimeter created the open looks. There were several occasions in which players bypassed open looks to find a shooter even more open.

It’s a sound strategy and a strength for Floral Park (6-5, 4-1), but don’t call the Knights one-dimensional.

“Obviously we can shoot the ball pretty well, but we still have our off days,” Hickman said. “When we have our off days we always find another way, whether it’s inside or driving to the basket.”

Hickman, a forward bound for LIU Post, is versatile enough to step out on threes and show a post presence. Wing Faith Balletta is athletic and can slash to the basket. Aideen Gill can do a little of everything.

“I wouldn’t say we’re just a jump-shooting team,” Hickman said. “We have a lot of different opportunities to score.”

Coming off a significant conference win over Lynbrook on Friday, the Knights came out firing against the Spartans. Coach Mike Spina believes his group is finally peaking after taking some time to find an identity.

Guerriero agrees.

“It took us a little while, but I think we’ve finally found ourselves and the way we need to play.”

Knocking down threes — while not the focal point of the offense — is certainly part of that identity.


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