The Lynbrook girls’ basketball team looked dominant Monday night as it was able to take care of a feisty Floral Park squad in the Nassau Class A semifinals to move one step close to its first county championship since 1978.
The Owls were led by senior Kaelynn O’Brien, who scored 15 points, and sophomore Brooke Mazzei who had a game-high 24 points in the 63-39 victory at Hofstra University. Not only did O’Brien and Mazzei light up the score sheet on offense, but they also played great defense, contributing three steals apiece.
The Owls forced 18 turnovers and were able to hold Floral Park’s top scorer Emma Kline to 12 points. Lynbrook head coach Steve LoCicero showed pride in how well his team played on the defensive end of the floor.
“We play very good defense too in Lynbrook, it really feeds our offense,” he said. “We put in a new defense for this game and it worked out really well. Mazzei, O’Brien, [Tyla] Vuotto, and [Caityblu] Cavassa really, really do a good job. We still think of ourselves as underdogs. We believe we’re the one seed and not everyone thought so. Everybody was picking Floral Park, so we’ll take that underdog energy any day.”
The turning point happened with just under two minutes left in the second half. After trading leads, Floral Park was putting pressure on Lynbrook until Mazzei swiped a pass and drove to the basket for two on back to back possessions. This jumpstarted an 8-0 Owls run before the half ended and swung the momentum completely in Lynbrook’s favor.