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Nassau A-5 girls basketball preview

Brianna Fitzgerald #4 of Island Trees, left, races

Brianna Fitzgerald #4 of Island Trees, left, races downcourt during a Nassau Conference A-5 girls basketball game against host Mineola on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019.  Credit: James Escher

CLARKE RAMS

Last season: 9-13

Coach: Shaun Fean

KEY PLAYERS

Sara Bongiorno F 5-8 Jr.; Hailey Calabrese F 5-7 Sr.; Kayla Connolly G 5-4 Sr.; Emily Famillette F 5-9 Jr.; Graceann Murphy PG 5-8 Sr.

ABOUT THE RAMS: Clarke won three out of four to wrap up the regular season and earn a playoff spot for the first time since 2004. Watch out for Murphy, who averaged 10 points and 6 assists per game last season.

ISLAND TREES BULLDOGS

Last season: 21-1

Coach: Bob Kaible

KEY PLAYERS

Brianna Fitzgerald G 5-9 Sr.; Madison McCormick F 5-9 Jr.; Emma Rochanakit F 5-8 Jr.; Allison Veritzan G 5-7 Jr.

ABOUT THE BULLDOGS: Fitzgerald will lead a fast-paced team that focuses on turning defensive pressure in quick offense. Fitzgerald averaged 23 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists per game last season.

LOCUST VALLEY FALCONS

Last season: 13-6

Coach: Michael Guidone

KEY PLAYERS

Lindsay Hogan G/F 5-11 So.; Amber Linden F 5-8 So.; Paige O’Brien G 5-6 Sr.; Julia Sabatino G 5-8 Sr.; Payton Tini G 5-7 Fr.

ABOUT THE FALCONS: Sabatino (14 points per game last season), O’Brien (12 points per game last season) and Hogan (11 points per game last season) highlight a three-pronged scoring threat, while Linden will anchor the defense.

MINEOLA MUSTANGS

Last season: 15-4

Coach: Erin Garabedian

KEY PLAYERS

Adriana Ferreira G 5-3 Jr.; Caitlin Kennedy F 5-8 8th.; Erlisa Kabashi F 5-11 Sr.; Theresa McCarey F 5-8 Sr.; Sophie Schrader PG 5-4 So.

ABOUT THE MUSTANGS: Kenney and Kabashi provide some strength and size down low as Mineola looks to return to the postseason.

SEAFORD VIKINGS

Last season: 4-16

Coach: Bob Vachris

KEY PLAYERS

Jamie Horodecki F 5-9 So.; Jamie McSorley C/F 6-0 Sr.; Brooke Surace G 5-4 So.; Parker Surace G 5-4 So.; Taylor Sylvester G 5-6 Jr.

ABOUT THE VIKINGS: A young team, but Seaford has plenty of depth with 10 players coming into the season with previous varsity experience. McSorley will lead the way after averaging 12.7 points per game last season.

VALLEY STREAM SOUTH FALCONS

Last season: 7-13

Coach: Daryl Johnson

KEY PLAYERS

Ceana Adams F 5-8 Jr.; Ciara Gabaldon G 5-0 Jr.; Mariah Gumbs F 5-8 Jr.; Sierra Harris G/F 5-6 So.; Erica Sarpong G/F 5-5 Sr.

ABOUT THE FALCONS: Despite an up and down season last year, Sarpong averaged 13 points and 6 rebounds as a junior. She’ll look for more this season, joined by Gabaldon who averaged 5 points and 4 rebounds per game last season.

WEST HEMPSTEAD RAMS

Last season: 5-11

Coach: Chris Van Kovics

KEY PLAYERS

Jenna Eivazi G 5-6 Sr.; Sanaia Estime F 5-0 So; Amanda Healy G 5-8 So.; Korrina Plair F 5-10 Sr.; Isabel Tavarez G 5-4 So.

ABOUT THE RAMS: Focused on staying healthy this season, West Hempstead is looking to make a return to the playoffs this winter, led by Eivazi and Plair.

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