Floyd wing Shy Hawkins hits the baseline layup against North Babylon...

Floyd wing Shy Hawkins hits the baseline layup against North Babylon in the Suffolk girls class AAA quarterfinal playoffs on Saturday. Credit: George A Faella

How do you defend Floyd’s Shy Hawkins?

If you press, she’ll use her length and strength to blow past you for a driving layup. Maybe instead of a layup, she’ll pull off a clean crossover like she did just two minutes into the Suffolk AAA quarterfinals against North Babylon before suddenly pulling up for an open jumper. If you give her space, you can bet the house that she’ll make you pay from beyond the arc.

Hawkins scored from everywhere on the court as her game-high 34 points helped No. 2 Floyd defeat No. 7 North Babylon, 74-41, at home in the Suffolk AAA quarterfinals. The 6-2 Syracuse commit — who had a double-double with 14 rebounds — hit four of her six three-point attempts as the Colonials dominated every aspect of the court.

“It feels great to help my team get better day by day,” Hawkins said. “I just know I have confidence in my team to win this whole thing.”

Hawkins and fellow senior Kayla Gilmore grew up together, and it shows on the court. Gilmore had a game-high seven steals with her 23 points while Hawkins added four and a block — which kickstarted fast breaks to each other that helped Floyd to take a 40-15 lead into halftime.

“Nobody cares who does what, they just care about winning,” coach Rich Sinclair said.

Don’t forget about senior Jacky Sutherland, the third member of the dominant senior trio with Hawkins and Gilmore. Sutherland played great defense that often forced an errant pass picked off by her teammates. The determination to win the school’s first-ever county title is almost tangible, from Gilmore to Hawkins to all the way down the bench.

“We play for the banner in the gym — it’s kind of empty, so we are trying to fill it,” Gilmore said. “... We want to get William Floyd on the map which I think we are doing more and more every game. We’re not a light team that everyone can come walk by anymore.”

“We’re trying to make history,” Hawkins said.

Floyd held North Babylon (14-7) to its lowest scoring game since Jan. 19 — scored 74 points in a playoff game against Longwood just two days prior, led by the top scorer on Long Island in guard Jasmine McKay. The junior still shined with 32 points despite a heavy dosage of double-teams and high presses, but she was always surrounded as the Colonials forced the other Bulldogs to try to step up.

“We wanted to make sure our girls knew where [McKay] was on the court at all moments,” Sinclair said. “We couldn’t leave her open — we left her open a few times and she hit shots because she’s a really good player.”

Floyd finishes the season undefeated at home, with its last home loss coming on Dec. 8, 2022, against Shoreham-Wading River. Floyd (20-1) will head to Ward Melville High School to play No. 3 Whitman (18-3) in the Suffolk AAA semifinals at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

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