Gianna Zawol of Kings Park, left, and Melanie New celebrate...

Gianna Zawol of Kings Park, left, and Melanie New celebrate after their team's 48-34 win over host Islip in a Suffolk League V girls basketball game on Tuesday. Credit: James Escher

Gianna Zawol and Melanie New were so in sync creating chaos on the court that it’s no surprise it transferred to the postgame reactions.

When the Kings Park guards discussed the impact their pressure defense had on Islip on Tuesday, they both said, in unison, “That’s the favorite part of my game.”

It was as if they planned it, but that wasn’t the case. It was just another in a countless number of examples of the two being on the same wavelength, as Kings Park defeated host Islip, 48-34, in a Suffolk League V girls basketball game.

Zawol and New disrupted the Islip offense before it could cross midcourt on numerous occasions, resulting in Zawol recording eight steals. If steals had assists attached to them, many of those would have gone to New forcing tough passes, leading to Zawol’s interceptions and layups.

“I love seeing them frustrated, it’s one of my favorite parts,” New said. “It gets tiring definitely, but I think that’s what really leads to our offense.”

“I feel that really brings up the energy,” added Zawol. “Every time we get a steal or a hand on it, everyone just gets so hyped and it got them a little frustrated, which helps us.”

Kings Park needed the two to be active on the defensive end, especially with leading scorer Ryan Currier battling foul trouble. Currier still finished with 13 points and nine rebounds despite the limited minutes. Zawol led the scoring with 21 points.

“We call her a cross between a pit bull and a cheetah, she’s just awesome,” Kings Park coach Tom Edmundson said of Zawol. “And it’s one of those things where we just laugh because she doesn’t really understand the game but she’s just so athletic that she makes up for any mistakes as she does great things defensively.”

Carley Mullins had 19 points for Islip (7-2).

Kings Park (9-1) opened a 16-7 lead after the first quarter but Islip scored the first seven points of the second quarter. Kings Park closed the final 90 seconds of the period on a 7-0 run of its own with New scoring five of her seven points during that stretch and many of those points coming off turnovers caused by the duo.

“They turn teams upside down,” Edmundson said. “Even if they have a really strong point guard, or even two, the two of them with their athleticism, the way they trap, work off each other, and feed off each other, it’s really fun to watch.”

Kings Park put itself in prime position to win its third straight league title. That gives the team a little more confidence before the Suffolk Class A playoffs start in two weeks.

“The past three years I’ve been on this team we’ve won the league championship,” said New, a senior. “And it’s always good to end out on a good year.”

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