Juliana Cerasi of Wantagh dribbles downcourt during a Nassau girls basketball...

Juliana Cerasi of Wantagh dribbles downcourt during a Nassau girls basketball game against Floral Park on Wednesday at Wantagh. Credit: Dawn McCormick

After a disappointing season last year, the Wantagh girls basketball team worked hard in the offseason hoping to build as a team and come back stronger.

After a 49-26 victory over Floral Park on Wednesday, they’re undefeated in Nassau A-I and are 11-1 overall.

“We were a little bit overwhelmed last season,” said coach Stan Bujacich. “We weren’t expecting the amount of competition in the conference and it was definitely an off year for us.”

After going undefeated in their summer league, and putting in work before the season started, Bujacich said they’re determined to have the success Wantagh once had.

“Before the season even started, we did so much together,” Juliana Cerasi said. “More people made an effort to play in summer and winter league, and that really helped us build our chemistry.”

And that chemistry shows. Every player on the court plays an equal role.

“We have such unselfish players, and we have so much grit,” Cerasi said. “When we go to the basket and we see another girl has a better shot, we give it to them. That’s what helps it all flow.”

Cerasi finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and five steals.

“She has great court awareness,” Bujacich said. “She understands where the openings in the defense are, and she’s always able to find the open players. She’s almost like another coach on the court.”

Senior Casey Kissinger also contributed 10 points, sinking three-pointers in both the second and third quarters.

“We were brought up the same year, and now we’re captains together,” Cerasi said. “Because we’ve been playing together for so long, we always know where to find each other on the court.”

After Floral Park had a strong third quarter, Wantagh went on a 9-0 run during the opening of the fourth. Junior Gianna Paccione sank two three-pointers and Skylar Mondelli added one to advance the lead. Paccione finished with nine points — all three-pointers — and Mondelli had five.

Floral Park’s Juliette Payoute had eight points and Sarah Owen and Michaela Catalano each had six points. FP falls to 6-6, 1-4 in Nassau A-I.

Wantagh faces Lynbrook in their next conference matchup on Saturday.

“It’s all about confidence,” Bujacich said. “Everything’s starting to jell for us, and we’re determined to get back to where we were a couple of years back.”

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