The Glen Cove Lady Big Red was bounced out of the Nassau Class A girls’ basketball playoffs on Feb. 14 by Division Avenue Dragons in a 75-47 home win for the Levittown natives.
A young and potentially talented group of Glen Cove girls walked onto the practice court at the beginning of this season unmolded, unaware and possibly unsure of their ceiling. “The first day of practice, I set a goal for us to make it to (the county championship), and everyone laughed,” Glen Cove first-year head coach Navro Allen said. “But by the end of the regular season, everyone believed that they could get there.”
After starting the season just 2-5, the Lady Big Red would go on to win six of its next 11 games to finish the season 8-10 (6-6 Conference) and good enough to make the playoffs.
That playoff game materialized at Division squaring off with a well-rounded team utilizing many different sources of both offense and defense.
Division’s Nora Tracey finished with a 25-point, 14-rebound double-double in a dominating effort that saw her relentlessly attack the boards on both ends of the court. Also, the Dragons’ Emily and Madison Gillis combined for 38 points with the latter accumulating 11 assists to nab her own postseason double-double as well.
The primary objective to stop these kinds of numbers was to enforce a frenzied full-court press and half-court trap, alternating between the two to confuse and stifle the Dragons’ offense. “Our gameplan was to press and trap them all game long, but because of our energy levels going up and down with it, I decided to take it off,” Allen said. “We had some success with it, but not the success in which I had hoped for.”
Division began to pull away in the second quarter, making it a 15-point lead at half before breaking it open in the second half. “We’re just a very young team. We have no seniors. We just didn’t quite have that senior desire, that senior fear of this being ‘it’, that wasn’t there,” Allen said.
Much like the regular season, Glen Cove’s scoring primarily came from Trinity Hudson (18 points) and Destiny Howell (16 points), a talented and potentially dynamic duo that will anchor this young core for Allen throughout their future in the program.
Jaynise Espinal, Micaela Costello, Lily Knobel and Lucy Costello are also young players with the ability to grow and improve under Allen, who is excited for the future. “I’m looking forward to us getting in the gym, getting in the weight room, and getting better,” Allen said. “We just didn’t have the time to teach them all that I wanted to. But now, I’ve got a whole offseason I get to look forward to.”
A raw product early, Glen Cove performed extremely well down the stretch and the coach had nothing but praise. “I’m ecstatic,” Allen said. “These girls made it further than anyone said they could, and I’m proud of them for that.”