Paige Selhorn had 11 points as Carle Place had nine...

Paige Selhorn had 11 points as Carle Place had nine players score in the victory over Wheatley on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. Credit: Bob Sorensen

Paige Selhorn was in the one position no athlete wants to find themselves during the playoffs last year — the bench. One of the top options for the Carle Place girls basketball team suffered a sprained ankle late last season and was unable to return for the playoffs. Carle Place’s postseason lasted significantly shorter than the Frogs expected last year, in part because of Selhorn’s injury.

“It was so hard, I don’t even know how to describe it,” Selhorn said. “I was just mad, so mad, and now I’m just so happy to be back on the court for this.”

Selhorn and her teammates put forth a dominant effort as top-seeded Carle Place defeated No. 4 Wheatley, 61-13, in the Nassau Class B girls basketball semifinals at Farmingdale State on Wednesday night. Selhorn, a senior forward, had 11 points as one of nine scorers for the Frogs.

“Getting back to this court and being able to play with my teammates is the best feeling ever,” Selhorn said. “And I’m glad to be winning. I’m very appreciative to be back here as a senior in my last season for basketball. It’s all I could dream of.”

Carle Place (14-6) advances to play No. 2 East Rockaway (13-8) in the Nassau Class B final at 6 p.m. on March 1 at Farmingdale State. Wheatley finished 5-15.

The Frogs lost in an outbracket game in the Nassau Class B playoffs last year. It was a feeling they never forgot after winning six straight county championships and five Long Island championships between Class B and Class C entering last season.

“It’s fun to be back,” coach Conor Reardon said. “Going last year to that championship game and watching it, it was hard. But I put myself through it and the girls did as well and I think deep down, they were all thinking hopefully next year at this point of the year we’d be back here. And credit to the girls, they did it.”

Caitlin Leary, who became the program’s all-time leading scorer this season, led Carle Place with 15 points on Wednesday. Reese Aguilar added 12 points and Madison Reedy had eight points in what Reardon called “a total team win.”

Leary now has 1,304 points and surpassed her sister, Erin, to set the program record this winter.

Carle Place held Wheatley to five points in the final three quarters.

“No matter what we did offensively, we were not going to lose it on the defensive end of the court,” Reardon said. “We are a really good defensive team and we have been all season and I think the reason we have success is because at the end of the day, we make it really difficult to score points.”

After a bitter ending to last season, the Frogs are one win away from their seventh county title.

“We knew this season was going to be different but we had to go out there and prove it,” Reardon said. “And now we’ve put ourselves in a position to regain our county title.”

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