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Sarah Pisani helps Carle Place hold off Manhasset

Carle Place guard Sarah Pisani (1) looks for

Carle Place guard Sarah Pisani (1) looks for an open teammate in a game against Manhasset. (Dec. 23, 2013) Credit: Steven Ryan

With just eight players on their roster, the Carle Place girls basketball squad knows what to expect from opponents this season: a lot of pressure, double teaming and traps.

And that is precisely what it got Monday from Manhasset. Sarah Pisani had 18 points and Maria Hyland eight points as Carle Place survived a late surge from the host Indians in a 43-40 win in the Barbara Hoffman Invitational championship game.

Fatigue appeared to be setting in on Carle Place (4-2) as Manhasset (5-1) used its deep bench and full-court pressure to cut a 21-13 third-quarter deficit to 37-36 with 1:09 left in the fourth.

Erin Barry led the charge for Manhasset, scoring 10 of her game-high 12 points during the Indians' 23-16 run.

"We all were getting tired, but we know we have to push through," said Pisani, who was named tournament MVP. "We have a small bench, so we know we have to play as hard and stay in there as long as we can."

Carle Place's poise emerged down the stretch as Elissa Frein hit a driving layup and Pisani added two free throws on consecutive possessions to give the Frogs a 42-37 lead with 34 seconds left in the game.

Hyland hit a free throw with six seconds left, extending Carle Place's advantage to 43-37.

"We knew they were a fast team and very athletic," said Hyland, who was named to the all-tournament team. "We had to execute every play and keep it calm near the end."

Carle Place coach Mike Bello credited his team's mental and physical resilience down the stretch, as well as its attention to detail in practice.

"I think every team is going to try and run on us because of our bench," Bello said. "But our girls are conditioned, they're great athletes and they work hard."

As for the season outlook, it was another solid win over a bigger school for Carle Place, which already has victories over Class AA schools Mepham, Farmingdale and Syosset this season.

The Frogs advanced to the Nassau B final last season.

"This win gives us a lot more confidence, especially since we lost to Oyster Bay on Friday," Hyland said. "This will keep us ready for the rest of the season.

Syosset 55, Malverne 33: Rachel Quinn and Elise Maturo each had 11 points for Syosset (2-4) in the Hoffman Invitational consolation game. Sarah Solomon added eight points and Rebecca Margolin seven. Alexis Lopez had 16 points for Malverne (2-3). Quinn was named to the all-tournament squad. Stephanie Gee (10 points) was selected to the all-tournament team for Malverne.

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