East Rockaway topped by Carle Place


A dominant scoring performance from Emma Poland was not enough to fulfill East Rockaway’s quest for a county championship.

The 6-0 forward tallied 22 points in last Friday’s Nassau County Class B girls’ basketball finals against top-seeded Carle Place to keep the Rocks within striking distance before the Frogs pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 47-35 win. 

“They had no answer for her in the post and we were really trying to get it into her,” said fifth-year East Rockaway girls basketball head coach Cheri Poland moments after the Rocks’ season-ending defeat at Farmingdale State College. “The girls stuck to the game plan and unfortunately we fell short.” 

Poland registered 14 points in the first half to help East Rockaway rally from an early seven-point deficit head into halftime tied 21-21. A Poland basket late in the second quarter gave East Rockaway what proved to be its final lead of the game at 21-19. 

The Rocks hung tough with Carle Place in the third quarter paced by four points apiece from Poland and sophomore guard Maya Motherway to head into the fourth quarter trailing 31-29.

Carle Place seized control in the fourth quarter with a 12-4 run to open the period. The Frogs’ senior guard Paige Selhorn proved crucial in this stretch in drilling a three-pointer for a 40-33 lead with 4:37 left and later converting a layup from a backcourt pass by Caitlyn Leary for a nine point with just over two minutes remaining. 

East Rockaway (13-9) split its two previous meetings with Care Place including a 54-53 overtime win on Jan. 4 in which Poland had 26 points and 17 rebounds. Carle Place won the regular season rematch, 55-42 on Feb. 1 which led to Frogs earning the top seed for the Class B playoffs. 

“It’s been a great matchup with Carle Place over the last couple of years,” Coach Poland said. 

Motherway, who recorded 22 points in the regular season win against Carle Place, finished with nine points in the championship game. Seniors Molly Hernandez and Sofia Ramirez chipped in with two points apiece. 

Leary, who scored 31 and 37 points in the two regular-season meetings with East Rockaway, was limited to 16 on Friday. 

The Rocks advanced to the country championship stage after a 42-31 semifinal win against Oyster Bay on Feb. 21 in which Poland registered a triple-double with 17 points, 14 rebounds and 13 blocks. 

While the season ended one win shy of a county title, Poland is proud of how the team competed throughout the winter in advancing one step past last year when the Rocks fell to Cold Spring Harbor, 39-35 in the semis. 

“We’re really proud of the girls, who put a tremendous amount of work in and unfortunately we fell short,” Poland said. “They are better kids than they are basketball players and that's what you want as a coach, as a parent, as a teacher, so I'm very proud of that.”