Locust Valley's Olivia Del Tatto gets in position for rebound...

Locust Valley's Olivia Del Tatto gets in position for rebound against a Putnam Valley players on Saturday, March 12, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Locust Valley girls basketball team has been the cream of the crop, reeling off an unprecedented streak of 54 wins. That streak came to an end on Saturday afternoon.

Putnam Valley defeated Locust Valley, 49-38, on Saturday afternoon in the state Class B Southeast Regional final at Hofstra. Lindsay Hogan and Payton Tini each scored 10 points for the Falcons. Nai Torres led Putnam Valley with 15 points.

The Falcons had an eight-minute scoring drought that spanned across the first and second quarters. Putnam Valley turned a two-point deficit into a nine-point lead. Elizabeth Gresalfi ended the Locust Valley drought with a three-pointer at the 2:25 mark of the second. Tini then scored in transition off a turnover to cut the Putnam Valley lead to four, where it would remain going into halftime.

"Anytime we’ve struggled to score, we’ve always turned up the defense," Locust Valley coach Michael Guidone said. "We just tried to shut them down and rebound, we ultimately gave ourselves a chance to win the game."

The Falcons cut the deficit to just two after scoring the first basket of the third quarter. Putnam Valley responded with a 12-4 run to extend their lead to 10.

Locust Valley rallied late, cutting the deficit to three after Olivia Deltatto converted a three-point play with over three minutes left to play. Putnam Valley then scored the next seven points to regain a 10-point lead. The two teams then traded baskets as the clock ran out.

"It was a rude awakening," Amber Linden said. "Toward the middle of the game we started to handle their defense better, but it wasn’t enough."

Hogan had an uncharacteristic game as the Putnam Valley defense routinely brought multiple defenders at her. While the Falcons defense was solid, there just wasn’t enough offense.

"They played a really good defensive game," Hogan said. "They didn’t let us drive as much as we normally do, they just kept cutting us off."

Locust Valley (23-1) has accomplished things that many coaches and players can only dream of. They had an undefeated record before getting to the Southeast Regional final, won 54 straight games, and won the Long Island Class B championship. Those feats bring pride to the team, even in the tough time of defeat.

"At the beginning of the season If you had told me we would accomplish all those things, I would’ve taken it," Guidone said. "We never got down and whatever happened, we always fought."

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