Division Girls Basketball Eliminated in Heartbreaker to Garden City

The girls fell 44-43 in the final seconds of the first round playoff game Wednesday.

Action from quarterfinal playoff game between Garden City and Division at Division High School on Tuesday night. (Credit: Gary Simeone)
Action from quarterfinal playoff game between Garden City and Division at Division High School on Tuesday night. (Credit: Gary Simeone)
Story by Gary Simeone.

In what would turn out to be an exciting girls basketball quarterfinals playoff game between #6 seed Garden City and #3 Division, the Trojans' Samantha Auricchio would add even more drama to the atmosphere at Division High School on Wednesday.

The super sophomore, who had a game high 16 points, hit the biggest shot of the night with a deuce from the top of the key in the waning seconds to give the Trojans a 44-43 advantage. With 3.4 seconds left on the clock Division needed to come up with something quick to counteract Auricchio's shot.

"We tried to get the ball to Taylor (Calabrese) who had been hot for us all night but we ended up turning the ball over," said Division coach Steve Kissane. "We didn't protect the ball well which is something that has plagued us all year. It ended up costing us in the final seconds of this game."

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The Trojans went on to win the game 44-43 but Division made things interesting with a fourth quarter run thanks to big shots from Calabrese and forwards Laura Stuart and Kristin Aquila.

The Blue Dragons outscored Garden City 16-10 in the fourth quarter with timely outside shots and stellar defense. They cut Garden City's lead to one point multiple times in the fourth and were able to grab the lead with a big outside shot from Aquila. The Trojans also self destructed a bit with turnovers at crucial moments.

"We got a little careless at the end and allowed them to penetrate us off the dribble," said Garden City coach Anthony Sparacia. "But I thought we did a very good job on the defensive end and we rebounded well throughout the game. Taylor (Carpentier) had a career day with 20 rebounds and Kerry (McCarraher) helped us out on the boards."

It was Auricchio's shot, however, that made the difference in the game. The All-County guard received the ball at the right hand side of the key with the seconds ticking off the clock and hoisted the shot up as the crowd gasped in anticipation. The shot was nothing but net as the Trojans' fans went wild and the Division supporters sat stunned in their seats.

Aquila, Calabrese and Stuart led Division with 10 points each, while Julie Weidler scored six points and Tiffany Rodriguez added five.

Division finishes the season 16-4 overall, while Garden City (15-4) continues its playoff run as it faces Sewanhaka in the Class A semifinal game at Freeport High School on Tuesday at 7 p.m.


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