Not everything can make it into the game story so here's some more insight and quotes from today's game between Wantagh and Garden City in which the Warriors prevailed 35-29.
Alex Parlato (above) will be a match up nightmare all season. The 6-3 Wantagh freshman gives the Warriors a massive size advantage on the inside and can have an impact on any shot she desires with her enormous wingspan. After one of Parlato's seven blocked shots, Garden City coach Anthony Sparacia asked his bench a rhetorical question in frustration, "do we know she's 6-3?"
It was a foregone conclusion Wantagh was going to get a playoff berth out of Conference A-I but Thursday's win gives the Warriors an enormous leg up on Garden City, the defending Long Island champion and No. 1 contender to win the league.
Wantagh started off on a 14-1 run led by Tara Basile who scored seven of the first nine points. Basile would go scoreless until a pair of free throws with 7.6 seconds left to play but played a huge role on defense. Matched up against Garden City's Kim Ryan, one of the most prolific 3-point shooters on Long Island the last few years, Basile played outstanding and limited Ryan to four points and nothing from behind the arc. In fact, the whole Garden City team did not make a 3-pointer and that's not going to happen too often.
Not to take anything away from Wantagh but as a matter of disclosure Garden City was playing without leading scorer and starting point guard Sam Auricchio (coach's decision). The Warriors built a 16-point lead at 23-7 with 2:12 left in the first half but the Trojans came back and tied the game at 29 thanks to full-court defense.
A basket from Brenna Smith put Wantagh ahead, then a forced turnover and some free throws sealed the upset.
Wantagh coach Stan Bujacich:
On Garden City's comeback:
We’ve been working on our poise, it’s been up and down. It’s getting better. You are playing the defending Long Island champions, they’re going to make a run sooner or later.
On Alex Parlato:
When the chips are down, when she has competition, when’s she’s challenged, she goes better. She’s had a lot of basketball experience. She’s been with us for two years and plays a lot of AAU ball.
Wantagh's Alex Parlato:
On defeating the defending Long Island champions:
It’s something that we’ve wanted to do. It’s really emotional finally beating them.
On what she thought with her team ahead by four late in the game:
Trying to give all I can for 15 seconds so that it hopefully counts and it did.