WILDCATS 47, BUCS 42
Midway through the regular season, Courtney Clasen received a promotion into the starting lineup for Shoreham-Wading River. As a freshman playing point guard, Clasen’s expanded role came with lofty responsibilities.
It didn’t take long for her to prove herself. And on Saturday afternoon at Shoreham-Wading River High School, the youngest Wildcat compiled one of her best games of the season in fourth-seeded Shoreham’s 47-42 Class A playoff victory over No. 5 Islip.
Clasen scored a team-high 13 points while fueling the Wildcats’ defense with seven steals. She also added four assists and two blocks.
Clasen came through with several key baskets late in the fourth quarter. With the Wildcats leading by five she scored back-to-back baskets, the first a runner in the lane and the second a bucket underneath on an inbounds play. The Wildcats pushed the lead to 12 — their largest of the game — with 2:10 left when Alyssa Fleming converted a three-point play after scoring off a feed from Meghan King, who dominated on the boards with 19 rebounds.
But the Bucs didn’t go quietly. Islip (11-8) went on an 8-0 run to slice Shoreham’s lead down to 46-42 with 29 seconds left. The Wildcats successfully ran off 20 seconds on their next possession before Islip finally fouled and sent Clasen to the line for a one-and-one. She missed the first free throw, but King was there for the rebound. She was fouled and hit the first free throw with :4.1 left for the final margin.
The Wildcats (12-7) advance to play top-seeded John Glenn Wednesday on the road in the Class A semifinals. The Wildcats are 0-2 against Glenn this season and the two schools have been familiar rivals in the playoffs. Glenn has gotten the better of Shoreham each time.
Shoreham played Glenn close in its most recent matchup. Glenn won 37-32 Feb. 2.
The Wildcats led for nearly the entire game against Islip, but could never pull away. The only lead for the Bucs was 3-2 in the first quarter. The game was tied at 13 in the second quarter when the Wildcats went on a 6-0 run regain control.
Shoreham’s defense forced 15 first-half turnovers. The Wildcats dominated on the glass early. Coupled with the turnovers, the Wildcats had 11 more field goal attempts than Islip in the first quarter. But the Wildcats shot only 4 of 24 (17 percent), so they led by only two after one quarter.
Sophomore Shannon Rosati scored 10 points for the Wildcats and added five steals. King had three assists and three steals to go with her nine points. Senior Alyssa Fleming scored seven points.
Senior Amanda VanNostrand led Islip with 15 points.
After Islip close to within three points late in the third quarter, the Wildcats went on a 6-0 run, capped by a three-point play from Rosati after she was fouled on a fastbreak.