Manhasset holds off South Side surge


By the time South Side found its shooting touch in Monday night’s Nassau Class AA girls’ basketball semifinal playoff game, it proved to be a little too late thanks to Manhasset’s Danielle Perfetto.

After South Side cut a 16-point deficit after three quarters down to one, Perfetto, a freshman, swished a three-pointer from the corner off a feed from senior Mia LoPointo with 1:40 remaining to give the top-seeded Indians all the breathing room they would need to emerge with a 44-38 victory at Farmingdale State College. 

“It wasn’t how we drew it up, but the defense converged on Mia and she found Danielle open in the corner,” said Manhasset head coach Chuck Collyer, who called a timeout after the fourth-seeded Cyclones scored 17 of the first 19 points of the fourth quarter. “We beat South Side twice during the season and we kept telling the girls they weren’t going to go down without a fight,” he added.

Perfetto’s clutch shot gave Manhasset a 40-36 lead. She had 11 points and LoPinto led all scorers with 15. The Indians, who won the Class A championship last season, will face seventh-seeded East Meadow in the title game next Monday at 5 p.m. at Farmingdale State.

Senior Kyla Murphy had 10 points and 22 rebounds to lead South Side, which beat No. 13 Bethpage in the quarterfinals and finished 16-6.

“What it ultimately came down to is we couldn’t put the ball in the basket until the fourth quarter,” South Side head coach Dan Ferrick said. “We had good looks all game and I thought defensively we played well enough to win.”

The Cyclones were held to 19 points through three quarters and had another 19 in the fourth alone. Foul trouble early didn’t help. They led 9-3 but saw senior Dakota Evans and sophomore Ellie Lennon both pick up two personals within the first 4:30.

Manhasset, which won regular-season meetings by scores of 53-42 and 56-36, scored the last five points of Monday’s opening quarter and outscored South Side 10-4 in the second to build an 18-13 halftime lead.

The margin swelled in the third as Manhasset’s crisp passing and ball movement led to four baskets in the paint — two by sophomore Lauren Connolly and two by senior Lauren Perfetto. The Cyclones trailed 35-19 entering the fourth but made a frantic push.

Sparked by freshmen Reese Long (8 points), Kately Mullen (6) and three-pointers from junior Ella Burbige and Lennon, South Side chipped away while Murphy’s dominance on the boards limited Manhasset to one-shot possessions.

Long cut the deficit to 37-36 before Danielle Perfetto’s momentum-shifting shot.

“I give our girls a lot of credit,” Ferrick said. “They kept their heads up and made a run and that’s all I could ask.

“The last two senior groups we’ve had changed the culture of the program and set the stage for the future,” he added.