Gianna Gotti has been the Oyster Bay girls basketball team’s leading scorer in every game this season. She had some company on Saturday.
Gotti poured in 19 points to go with her 12 rebounds and six assists, but while Wheatley’s defense keyed on her in the second half, freshman Gaby Treble produced 19 points of her own.
Their combined efforts were enough for No. 2 Oyster Bay to outlast No. 3 Wheatley, 52-35, in a Nassau Class B semifinal at SUNY Old Westbury. The Baymen play top-seeded Carle Place on Thursday at noon at Old Westbury in a rematch of last year’s final.
“I think it’s really just what we did in the gym this week,” Treble said. “Our coach told us they were going to double Gianna and that somebody was going to have to step up, and I wanted that to be me. I’m a freshman — I’m the youngest one on the team — and I think next year is going to be a big year for me.”
Wheatley (4-15) focused heavily on Gotti, who scored 12 of her 19 in the first half. She was always met high by two defenders, which forced her to lean on her teammates. Averaging 24.3 points per game this season, Gotti said she was happy to defer to them.
“When they start attacking with the two girls up top and they try to stop me from driving, I just give up the pass and rely on my teammates to help me,” she said. “I think as a senior, a captain and a five-year starter, my role this year is to get everyone around me better as a player.”
Gotti assisted the first three baskets of the game before even attempting a shot herself, and her dish to Treble with less than a minute left in the third quarter gave Oyster Bay a 32-24 lead.
Wheatley cut the score to as close as seven points when Samantha Rothstein (14 points) made a pair of free throws midway through the fourth quarter, but Oyster Bay (8-12) responded with a 7-1 run, capped by a three-pointer from Elizabeth Reilly (seven).
Gotti made four free throws and a layup in the final three minutes, sealing a date with Carle Place
“They’re a great team, but with practice in the gym every day, hopefully we can give them a good fight,” said Gotti, who had 21 points in the 60-43 loss last year.
Treble was held scoreless in that game, but her performance Saturday has coach Sandy Rossen confident.
“There’s no doubt about it. This was her best game,” he said. “She’s so unselfish that she’s not used to scoring. We have to tell her to attack. She’s so athletic and so versatile. Yeah, this was her best game by far.”