Runs are part of the game, and it was one final run that ultimately decided the game.
Babylon, relying heavily on the talents of Amanda Guerra, recovered from a 24-7 run by Southold/Greenport with a game-ending 15-7 run of its own. Guerra scored nine of those points herself, including Babylon’s last six points (all from the foul line), as the Panthers held off the First Settlers, 41-39, in a Suffolk County League VII girls basketball game Monday night at Southold High School.
The game completed the first half of the league season for both teams. Babylon improved to 6-6, 4-3 in the league. Southold (3-6, 2-5) needs to win five of its remaining seven league games in order to nab a spot in the playoffs.
Southold led by as many as six points in the third quarter on five successive baskets: one off a spin move by Adrine Demirciyan, a Liz Clark putback, a basket off a baseline move by Clark, a Demirciyan three-pointer from the top of the key and a short jumper by Demirciyan. That made the score 32-26.
But Babylon, which employed a full-court press for much of the game, wasn’t finished. The Panthers fought back behind Guerra, the senior forward who totaled 25 points, 15 rebounds, eight steals, three blocks and one assist. She made 13 of 17 free throws.
Babylon tied the score three times before a pair of Guerra free throws gave the Panthers a 37-35 edge with three minutes and 18 seconds left to play.
Moments later, Southold’s Grace Syron hit a shot just before the shot clock expired to even terms at 37-37.
A layup by Samantha Dunne had cut Babylon’s lead to 40-39.
Guerra, who sank 4 of 6 free throws in the final 1:59, made her last foul shot with 17.9 seconds to go.
In the final seconds, Southold had two opportunities to pull ahead, but Demirciyan failed to convert a layup and a last-second desperation heave by Ale Cardi fell short.
Syron, who shot 7-for-16 from the field, led Southold with 14 points, 14 rebounds, five steals and three assists. Demirciyan, an eighth-grade point guard, had 12 points.
Photo caption: With Southold/Greenport’s loss to Babylon, coach Skip Gehring needs the First Settlers to win five of their remaining seven league games in order to see the playoffs. (Credit: Bob Liepa)