Commack players celebrate their victory over Northport in a Suffolk Class...

Commack players celebrate their victory over Northport in a Suffolk Class AAA semifinal on Tuesday at Ward Melville. Credit: George A Faella

Maya Khan wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

When Khan tore her PCL in her right knee two months ago, her season was in serious doubt. Doctors originally told Khan they thought she’d be back in a few weeks, but a later diagnosis pushed that date to after the conclusion of the winter championships.

Khan wasn’t about to accept that verdict.

Through hard work and physical therapy, Khan returned for the playoffs for the Commack girls basketball team. Khan, a senior, is no longer the one being told ‘no,’ she’s the one telling it to others when they attempt to put up a shot. The 5-10 forward had a key blocked shot in the closing seconds to help top-seeded Commack hold onto a 45-43 victory over No. 4 Northport in the Suffolk Class AAA girls basketball semifinals at Ward Melville on Tuesday night.

“I started going to (physical therapy) more, doing stuff on my own and just begging the doctor,” Khan said. “I got a little bit of luck and I was able to get cleared for now and I’m so happy to be back.”

And her teammates are happy to have her. Although Khan plays with a bulky brace on her right leg, she’s still on the court the majority of the contest. Khan had eight points but her most important play was blocking a shot at the basket with 24 seconds left in the fourth quarter with Commack holding a 44-43 lead when Khan was one foul away from fouling out.

“I thought I just had to put my all into that one play,” Khan said. “I had my last foul, so I felt I didn’t have anything to lose.”

Commack (22-0) advances to play Whitman (19-3) in the Suffolk Class AAA final at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Suffolk CCC-Selden. Commack is seeking its first county title since 2018.

Northport (16-6) cut Commack’s lead to 44-43 when Kennedy Radziul sank a three-pointer with 1:43 left during a Tigers 6-0 run. Sofia Vasselman made a foul shot with 16 seconds left following Khan’s blocked shot to extend the Cougars’ lead to 45-43. Commack’s Haley Loscalzo stole a pass in the paint with 12 seconds left and the Cougars called a timeout before getting fouled.

“I just saw the ball in the air and I realized I had to go get it,” Loscalzo said. “There were only a few seconds left and we needed the ball back. It was just me and the ball for a second, I didn’t really feel the energy until the ball was in my hands and everyone started screaming.”

Commack missed two foul shots out of the timeout with four seconds left. Northport fired a desperation shot from beyond halfcourt that fell short.

Even during Northport’s late push, Commack remained confident.

“We were telling each other that we deserved this,” Vasselman said. “We’ve been playing the whole season so hard and too hard not to earn something like this. We’re making history. This hasn’t been done since (2018) and we knew we’d be the team to break that trend.”

Loscalzo led Commack with 10 points in a balanced scoring effort that featured five players with at least seven points. But coach Dave Moran credited Loscalzo’s non-scoring contributions throughout the game and season over everything else.

“Haley is the grittiest kid I’ve coached in years,” Moran said. “She gets rebounds, she’ll do anything the team needs to win. And today she was the leading scorer, too. But she does anything the team needs to win, day in and day out. Game in and game out. She’s the hardest worker on the court, period.”

Gianna Solch added nine points, Khan and Vasselman each had eight points and Sienna Olivares had seven points, including the first five points of the fourth quarter as Commack took a 37-32 lead after entering the period tied at 32. Brooke Kershow had 18 points for Northport.

Commack continues its perfect season into the county final.

“This team this year doesn’t really know how to lose,” Vasselman said. “I think that helps us to be confident. Some people may say you need a loss to know what it feels like, but I don’t feel we need that because our energy is staying high. It’s not like we are getting cocky or anything, but we just want to keep our streak going.”

And Khan is thrilled to be a part of it. She was devastated when she thought that wouldn’t be the case.

“I teared up in front of the doctor and telling my coaches and everyone because I wanted more than anything to be back playing with them,” said Khan, who is also a standout volleyball player. “I think that contributed a lot to me making it back and being in the best shape for my team. I love these girls more than anything and I’m just super happy to be back.”

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