Lynbrook clinches first place with their 53-44 win over Plainedge...

Lynbrook clinches first place with their 53-44 win over Plainedge in a Nassau Conference A-IV girls basketball game in North Massapequa on Friday. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

The stakes were simple for the Lynbrook Owls heading into Friday night’s regular-season finale at Plainedge: Win and claim the Nassau A-IV title outright; lose and share it with the host.

Four quarters later, first prize was all theirs.

After trailing by 14 in the second quarter, Lynbrook caught up in the third and pulled away near the end to win, 53-44. 

This Class A girls basketball program owns its first conference championship since 2017. 

“It’s definitely super exciting,” senior point guard Kaelynn O’Brien said after delivering 14 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. “We have been expecting this. So we’ve had a lot of confidence to bring us there. … But we’re on to bigger and better things in the playoffs, obviously.”

Lynbrook (17-2, 11-1) has been waiting a lot longer for the biggest and best thing in the county playoffs. The Owls’ last Nassau title came 45 years ago, aka 1978. 

Is this finally their year again?

“We know it’s our year,” coach Steve LoCicero said. “… We think everybody is overlooking us. We have an underdog mentality even though we have a chance to be the one seed.”

On the other side, Sarah Tansey thinks the Red Devils (14-6, 9-3) can repeat.

“Absolutely,” the Plainedge coach said. “They work hard. They play great defense. Today we didn’t hit shots when we needed to toward the end.”

Her Red Devils led, 44-43, with 3:41 left after  Lucy Younghans' layup. 

But O’Brien drove the left side to give the Owls the lead and begin a 10-0 closing run. O’Brien then drove the right side and ended up with a three-point play — 48-44. Brooke Mazzei drove the lane to cap her 13-point night and provide a six-point lead with 1:54 remaining. 

The Red Devils, who were topped by Julia Foppiano’s 15 points, managed just 14 second-half points.

It was different early on. Plainedge led 26-12 in the second quarter. Then the Owls outscored them 28-7 to take a 40-33 advantage in the third.

“Fourteen [down], we just said, ‘Settle down,’ ” LoCicero said. “… They just started to play their type of basketball.”

Jesse Bodian, making her first start of the season, starred defensively for them. The junior forward/guard contributed eight steals and five blocks, which went with nine points and 10 rebounds. 

“We’ve worked so hard this whole season,” Bodian said. “… I can’t wait to see what else we have coming for us.”

ONE-DAYSALE5¢ a week for 5 6 months

Get Unlimited Access

Cancel anytime