Keira Pombar of North Shore waits for the rebound with...

Keira Pombar of North Shore waits for the rebound with Carle Place's Sophia Pittoni during non-league game on Friday, Dec. 30, 2022. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Keira Pombar drove for a layup. Then she did it again. And again.

In 60 seconds, Pombar took North Shore from a four-point deficit to a two-point lead to open the second half.

“It didn’t matter if our shots were falling short earlier in the game,” she said. “We were going to keep trying until they didn’t.”

The 6-1 forward scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half as North Shore beat Carle Place, 57-40, in a non-league girls basketball game on Friday morning.

Hailey Ayres followed Pombar’s run with a step-back three-pointer that added to the second-half surge for North Shore (9-2). Emma Priolo contributed another to close out the third quarter as the Vikings took a 37-33 lead.

“Our offensive philosophy is threes and layups,” said North Shore coach Keith Freund, who earned his 250th career win. “Once they came out on fire in the second half and were able to execute that, I knew they could take over the game.”

He added, “At halftime, I told them to not get caught up in missing their shots. If they stayed strong-minded and kept going to the rim, they could put up a good lead.”

Apparently, Pombar was paying attention.

Caitlin Leary had 20 points for Carle Place (2-5).

“We knew [Leary] was going to score a lot,” Pombar said. “Ava [Bartoli] took on a big role on defense by face-guarding her throughout the game.”

Bartoli added 11 points for the Vikings, including three key three-pointers.

“It’s not easy to guard another team’s best player and focus on offense,” Freund said. “I was very happy to see her accomplish both.”

The victory over the defending Long Island Class C champion gave North Shore a five-game winning streak. After going undefeated in their conference last season before falling to county champion Plainedge in the second round of the playoffs, the Vikings are focused on using every non-league game as a learning opportunity.

“Facing non-league teams has helped us all improve our IQ of the game,” Pombar said. “Championship teams know how to work together and execute adjustments well, and that’s what we strive to do.”

Freund has been coaching North Shore since 2005.

“I’ve coached many great athletes here,” he said. “But this group is special and I couldn’t ask for a better team to share this exciting achievement with me.”


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