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Sarah Harrington helps Smithtown West edge Smithtown East, 58-56

Smithtown East's Abby Zeitsiff drives the baseline against

Smithtown East's Abby Zeitsiff drives the baseline against Smithtown West's Natalie Condzal in the first half on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Sarah Harrington looked at the clock, saw there was only four minutes left, and ran as fast as she could down court.

But that was beforethe game even began.

Consider Harrington's sprint the first charge in the running of the Bulls Saturday, as host Smithtown West held on to defeat Smithtown East, 58-56, in a non-league game.

Harrington, you see, had soccer practice with her club team Saturday morning. She then rushed to the basketball game and arrived with just a few minutes of warm-ups remaining before the 11 a.m. tipoff.

But even after all that running around, she set the tone early in the game, and finished with eight points and 10 rebounds. She attacked the basket, fought for loose balls, played relentless defense, and helped Smithtown West run away with it.

Kiera Kehoe hit two free throws with 1:24 remaining to put the Bulls of the West up 54-52 over the Bulls of the East. On the next possession, Kehoe lobbed a pass into to the paint to Selena LaFranca, who laid it in to increase the lead to four.

A free throw by Jessica Anderson made it a one-possession game for Smithtown East. But Kehoe then delivered an outlet pass over the press to a wide open Brenna Butler for an easy layup to increase the lead to 58-53 with 19 seconds left.

"It was a really big game for us," said Butler, who led all scorers with 20 points. "We knew it would be a big statement if we got the win so we were really happy."

Abby Zeitsiff drained a three with 8.3 seconds left to pull East within 58-56. With a chance to tie or take the lead on the next possession, Smithtown East's outlet pass sailed out of bounds, sealing the win for Smithtown West (2-4).

Kehoe finished with seven points and six assists, LaFranca had nine points, and Mackenzie Heldberg added eight.

Smithtown West has struggled in the third this season, but Saturday didn't allow a field goal until just 2:21 remained in the quarter.

Gabby Horman made a pretty backdoor pass to a cutting Butler, who converted a layup with seconds left to send West into the fourth with a 47-40 lead.

"We came out more energized," Kehoe said. "The third has been the quarter we usually go down, so we knew coming back out that we had to go hard on defense."

Haley Anderson had 22 points to lead Smithtown East (4-3). She drained five three-pointers, the last of which erased a nine-point fourth quarter deficit and evened the score at 52 with 1:37 left.

Samantha Delaney scored 13 of her 17 points in the first half, including a three-point play on a putback to send East into the break with a 33-32 lead.

But Smithtown West hit the ground running in the third. And when the game was over, and a hectic morning was completed, Harrington still wasn't feeling run-down.

"My legs are fine," she said. "I'm used to running from practice to practice . . . They are our biggest rival and we wanted to win so bad. That drove us to work a little harder."

And run a little faster.


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