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GIRLS

Winner takes

conference crown

Herricks (14-2, 10-1) will host Hicksville at 6 p.m. Monday with the Nassau Conference AA-III championship on the line. The winner gets the league title and the No. 12 seed in the Nassau Class AA playoffs, and the loser will have their season come to an end. Hicksville (15-1, 10-1) won the first time the teams played on Jan. 14, 36-27.

Lindenhurst breaks streak

The streak of futility is over for Lindenhurst, which clinched a playoff berth Wednesday with a 52-43 win over Connetquot in Suffolk League II play. It is the first postseason appearance for Lindenhurst since 1993.

"These girls on this team have committed three years of their lives year round to turn this program around," third-year coach Greg Flynn said. "I promised them that if they made a commitment to the game that the success and life experience they get out of it would be worthwhile. I give my team credit for not listening to the people who told them it could not be done here in Lindenhurst."

Flynn said one of the reasons for the team's success is starting two Lindenhurst-based Long Island Lightning AAU teams that were created when he took over as coach. Lindenhurst, which is 6-5 in league play with one game left, has seven freshmen and sophomores in the rotation who played on those two teams for the last three years.

Leading the team is senior center Brenna Comens, a four-year player. She is averaging 9.0 points, 13.5 rebounds and three blocks. The top young players are Colleen Ames, who had 21 points against Connetquot. Sophomore Sammy Martinez is the defensive stopper, who guards the other teams' best players. Stephanie Ingenito, a sophomore, is the point guard and floor leader.

Mt. Sinai: First league title

Mount Sinai clinched its first league title in school history with a 58-47 win over Shoreham-Wading River on Thursday. Sarah Shine had 22 points and nine rebounds, Emily Bongiorno had 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists and Kelsey Lubin nine points, seven assists and five rebounds to clinch the League VI title.

"Going into the season, that was our goal," Mount Sinai coach Kevin Walsh said. "We've known for a while it was in our control. Basketball hasn't been a huge success at Mount Sinai. It was very important for these kids."

League VI has been tight all season. At one point, four teams were tied for first. Mount Sinai (13-4, 11-2) has won eight straight league games to take control.

"My team has improved," Walsh said. "We have talent and a well-balanced team. We start five seniors. Things are clicking. We're executing more efficiently."

Shine and Bongiorno are the top scorers on the team. Shine has been the threat in the post, and Bongiorno has played well on the wing. That inside-outside combo has been a key to the success.

Center moving up quickly

Shneeka Center scored 40 points to reach 2,000 for her career Tuesday. The Smithtown West senior forward then scored a career-high 49 Thursday. She has 2,062 points and is 14th on the Long Island all-time scoring list.

Suffolk playoff picture

The regular season ends Wednesday in Suffolk and four teams are still vying for playoff spots. In Class AA, Sachem North clinches a playoff berth with a win at Whitman on Tuesday. Deer Park needs to beat West Babylon and Bellport. In Class A, Huntington needs to beat Hauppauge and Comsewogue needs to defeat Islip. Both teams play at home Tuesday.

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