They've been dominant all year and the Massapequa girls basketball team has a chance to play for the county championship.
The Chiefs defeated the MacArthur Generals, 56-42, in the Section VIII Class AA Semi-finals this past Tuesday at Oyster Bay high school, earning a shot at the Nassau County Championship in March against Baldwin.
Massapequa dominated the first half of the game. Lead by Morgan Roessler, who had scored an impressive 14 points by the end of the second quarter.
But that early lead lead was earned the hard way, as the Chiefs had to deal with some precision three-point shooting in the form of MacArthur’s Amanda Gross and Courtney Noakes. Nonetheless, by the halftime buzzer, Massapequa was securely in the lead, 30-19.
The Generals tightened the game a bit in the second half, stepping up their game as a whole and galvanizing their defense. Two successful free throws by MacArthur’s Samantha Sherman and a three-pointer that was all net by Amanda Gross seemed to inch the Generals closer to relinquishing Chiefs’ solid hold on the lead.
But Massapequa’s Taylor Byrne sank a three-pointer of her own late in the third that seemed to re-establish The Chiefs’ dominance. By the end of the third quarter, the Chiefs were up 45-31.
Despite a desperate effort by MacArthur in the fourth quarter, bolstered by several successful free throws by Noakes, the Chiefs were simply too far ahead. Lauren Van Buren’s late game basket and a successful free throw helped to secure the game for Massapequa, with a final score of 56-42.
In addition to Roessler 's 14 points; Van Buren finished with 10 points; and Joanne Josephson and Melissa Maini, scored 6 points each.
The top scorers for MacArthur were Noakes with a whopping 21 points; Gross with 9 points; and Jena Cozza with 6 points.
MacArthur head coach Kathleen Auer, despite the disappointment of the loss, was still proud of her team’s achievements.
"I thought we had a great season," she said. "It's great that we got to the semi-finals again for the third year in a row. I thought our kids played hard...we had our chances, but it just didn't go our way today. Plus, Massapequa is just a really great team."
The Generals finish out their season with a record of 16-3.
Massapequa head coach Shari Roessler, while excited by the victory and the prospect of being one step closer to the County title, still heaped praise upon the vanquished Generals.
"I thought we had a great first half,” she said. “In the second half, I have to give credit to MacArthur for shutting down some of our shots and stepping up defensively...we had a pretty much equal second half. But I’m proud of my girls...at this point, we don’t get easy games, so we’ll just come out, work hard, and get to the championship. That’s really what we try to do.”
With this win, the Chiefs advance to the Finals with a record of 17-2.
The Massapequa Lady Chiefs will face Baldwin for the Nassau County Championship at C.W. Post University on Saturday, March 3, at 2 p.m.