East Rockaway’s five-game winning streak came to a screeching halt last Saturday when visiting Carle Place remained undefeated in Nassau Conference B girls’ basketball with a convincing 66-39 victory.
Abby Selhorn hit six three-pointers for a game-high 18 points, Erin Leary had 14, Amanda Leary added 12, and Caitlin Leary sank a trey to lead the Lady Frogs, who improved to 5-0 against conference rivals and 7-2 overall. Erin (sophomore), Amanda (freshman) and Caitlin (7th grade) are the daughters of East Rockaway head coach Karin Leary, who won’t have family bragging rights for a while.
“It’s cool in a way and it was fun the first time I coached against Erin, but I don’t enjoy coaching against them,” Karin Leary said. “It’s difficult. There’s a lot of mixed feelings and it’s really not spoken about too much. They’re good players and I’m a competitor. Part of my job is to figure out how to stop them.”
Senior Brooke DeGiulio (14 points), freshman Riley O’Hagan (nine) and junior Hunter Vertuccio (eight) led the offense for the Lady Rocks, who slipped to 3-2 in conference games and 8-4 overall.
“We’ve been playing pretty well,” Leary said. “We didn’t come out as strong as we would’ve liked, but in the second half we played with more energy and confidence.”
East Rockaway outscored Carle Place by a 14-12 margin in the third quarter but still trailed by 18 points heading into the fourth. The visitors hit 13 shots from behind the arc, including six combined by the Leary sisters. Selhorn stayed hot after netting 24 points earlier last week in a win over Seaford.
“Carle Place and Cold Spring Harbor are the frontrunners in the conference right now,” Leary said. “Our numbers are low, we only have seven girls on varsity, but the five seniors have played together for a long time and they’re all great athletes who work hard.”
Vertuccio and O’Hagan will be the lone varsity returners next season. Vertuccio not only gets the toughest defensive assignment every game but also chips in 8.5 points, ranking her third behind DeGiulio (14.3 ppg) and Juliet McCarthy (13.3.) O’Hagan made the jump from middle school ball to varsity and is providing offense off the bench. “Riley’s a good shooter and growing more and more comfortable every game,” Leary said.
DeGiulio has hit for at least 20 points four times this season and is approaching 1,000 for her career. She scored a season-high 27 and added 12 to lead an easy victory over Friends Academy on Jan. 9. “It’s a milestone that only two other girls have reached in program history,” Leary said of DeGiulio reaching the plateau.
McCarthy has scored in double figures in nine of 12 games, including a high of 22 in a Jan. 3 win at Oyster Bay. She leads the team with 36 three-pointers.
Seniors Kailey Hyland, Emily Chelius and Catherine McClure are also contributing to the success of the Lady Rocks, who host Friends Academy this Saturday at noon.