Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
While the boys' squad was , there was a true battle of wills for Mineola’s girls’ varsity basketball squad Tuesday night at Valley Stream North High School.
By halftime, the Lady Mustangs would prove that the role of the superior team would belong to them. As the buzzer sounded, the score was 20-15, in favor of the away team. As the girls gathered around their coach, Denise Zunno, she drilled them with her tough coaching style.
“Move your feet, you have to move your feet,” she stressed to the girls. “Remember what we practiced! Don’t get sloppy now.”
Ever faithful to their battle cry of “aggressive,” the Lady Mustangs went back into the game as Mineola’s Lauren Fischer quickly gained possession of the ball and helped lead the team toward victory.
Heroes: Lauren Fischer and Caroline Navarra. Despite cries to “cover 22” by North’s head coach, Fischer remained open and was able to score a majority of points in the first half of the game. During the second half, Navarra scored three back to back two point shots.
“Our girls have really grown as a family – this the second year they’re playing together, so we have a strong bond,” Zunno said. “I think you can see that when they play – no one hogs the ball, no one wants to be the star. Everyone just wants to win and to do it as a team so when Navarra scores, the whole team celebrates it.”
Turning Point: The Lady Mustangs continued to take the lead through the match, as their offensive squad was simply faster – and more tactically skilled than their Valley Stream North opponents.
Though the Lady Spartans tried to fight back, scoring 15 points in the second half, their overly aggressive nature on the court led them to giving up points as star player, Fischer was given an opportunity to shoot free throws.
The Quote: “The girls really don’t play with a sort of individual chemistry on the court,” Zunno said. “We’ve really grown together as a team since last year – and have really been working on improving. From working on V-cutting to sprinting to the ball, we’re always working on getting faster and better. [The Lady Mustangs] really put in a lot of hard work tonight and that team spirit really showed.”
Bottom Line: Mineola ensured their victory by continuing to pass the ball evenly, utilizing each player on the court instead of maintaining the majority of ball possession with a few key players.
Though North’s players were aggressive, their continued lack of coverage on Fischer as well as their poorer offensive abilities made them succumb to Mineola’s might.
While the Lady Mustangs need to improve their rebounding skills, continuing to hone their speed will likely continue keep them as the number one team in the Conference A-IV.1 2 3 4 F Mineola Lady Mustangs 6 7 18 20 51 Valley Stream North Lady Spartans 9 6 4 17 36