Hauppague, who went on a 17-3 scoring run to end the third quarter and open the fourth, edged Sachem East, 47-45, in the Suffolk County Class AA semifinals Saturday afternoon at Farmingdale State College.
Lindsay Alfano hit her third and final three-point basket with 39.2 seconds left in the game to give the fourth-seeded Eagles a 46-43 lead and eventually the win.
Hauppauge (21-0) advances to the Suffolk County championship, which will be held at Farmingdale on Tuesday night at 5 p.m. The Eagles will play the winner of the other Class AA semifinal being played between No. 2 Lindenhurst and No. 3 Riverhead on Saturday afternoon.
"We didn’t really deviate from what we do," said Hauppauge coach Jamie Edson. "We play hard defense, we work hard and we shoot. When we make shots we look real good and when we don’t make shots we look average. Today I give everybody credit. Everybody really worked hard and got the job done. These girls don’t back down from anyone. This is the first game all year we weren’t expected to win."
Top-seeded Sachem (19-2) led 25-21 with 6:26 remaining in the third quarter before Hauppauge went on its scoring run to bring the Eagles ahead 38-28 with 6:55 remaining in the contest. The effort from Hauppague came from all parts of the floor with five different players scoring during the big run in the third and fourth quarters.
Hauppauge outscored Sachem, 13-5, in the third quarter, but the Arrows rallied back in the fourth with 20 points of its own down a neck-and-neck stretch.
Amidst the 20 point fourth quarter for Sachem was an 8-0 run spurred by a three-point basket from Emily Carmel and five points off free-throws from Kathleen Everson.
"We had a lot of missed opportunities," said Sachem coach Matt Brisson. "We had a tough time all game long, we didn’t finish shots, we couldn’t catch the ball, they were out scrapping us getting loose balls on the floor. The bottom line is we just didn’t execute today and they played very well. Those kids came out to play."
With Sachem down 46-45 and just under 15 seconds left in the game, Julie Williams, who scored a game-high 17 points, stole a Flaming Arrows pass and was fouled. She hit one free throw to make the score 47-45. Sachem had two more possessions in the final 10 seconds, but twice threw the ball to Hauppauge players on inbound passes. Williams also had a game-high seven steals.
Brisson said if Hauppauge plays like it did against Sachem, the Eagles could win a county title on Tuesday.
"When you get down to the final four teams, if they execute it’s anybody’s game," he said.1 2 3 4 F Hauppauge 8 13 13 13 47 Sachem East 7 13 5 20 45
H: Williams (17), Alfano (14), Descalzo (8), Poulin (4), Kephart (2), Peragallo (2)
S: M. Doherty (15), Everson (11), K. Doherty (9), Carmel (8), S. Drake (2)