Oceanside closes gap on rivals


Attempting to pull out a fourth consecutive victory after trailing through three quarters, Oceanside couldn’t get over the hump last Friday and dropped a 45-40 decision to visiting Farmingdale in a Conference AA-I girls’ basketball game.

Though the Lady Sailors were unable to overcome Nadine Hadnagy’s 24 points, coach Jason Manning said he’s encouraged by the team’s progress as the conference schedule approaches the midway mark. Senior Woodlyn Daniel led Oceanside (6-4 overall) with 18 points, marking the ninth time in 10 games she scored in double figures. Junior Veronica Miller added 10 points.

“I’m proud of how we’re playing and competing against some of the best teams in the county,” Manning said. “When you’re in Conference I, it’s a fight every night. There were times in recent seasons we didn’t compete, but we’re heading in the right direction.

“Hagnady was the difference tonight,” he added. “We had a few defensive lapses and she took advantage.”

The Lady Sailors, who slipped to 2-3 in conference play, still managed to outscore their opponent in the fourth quarter for a fourth straight game. However, their 12-10 edge wasn’t enough to erase an eight-point deficit with eight minutes to go.

“We have the right energy and attitude,” Manning said. “We were down seven after the first quarter and cut it to three by halftime. The girls are starting to believe in themselves. It’s a nice feeling to go into every game knowing you’ve got a chance to win.”

Oceanside used fourth-quarter heroics to start January with back-to-back come-from-behind victories. Senior Emily Doherty’s free throw forced overtime against Syosset on Jan. 4, and Daniel scored seven of her game-high 26 points in the extra quarter to pull out a 57-48 win. Daniel also ripped down 22 rebounds. “Woodlyn’s been absolutely incredible since conference play began,” Manning said. “She’s developed into the player we knew she had potential to be. She’s constantly drawing double coverage, but she kicks the ball out for others to get involved.”

Daniel (24 points) and Doherty (10, including eight in the fourth quarter) starred offensively as the Lady Sailors exploded for 23 fourth-quarter points to rally past Hempstead, 56-49, on Jan. 8. Led by Treasure Hayes (20) and Eya Drayton (16), the Lady Tigers took a 10-point lead into the fourth. “Hempstead had an incredible shooting game,” Manning explained. “It’s probably the best I’ve seen them shoot. We took all their punches but kept battling. That’s a sign of a good team.”

Oceanside won four of five non-conference games, including a thrilling 50-48 triumph over Seaford on Dec. 29 behind sophomore twin guards Claire and Megan McNamara. Claire scored a team-high 17 points, while Megan’s three-pointer with four seconds remaining won it. “They’re really emerging in the backcourt,” Manning said of the McNamaras. “Claire’s got a heavy burden running the point, and she’s doing a great job. We’ve really cut down on turnovers compared to recent seasons.”