Copiague ends Bethlehem's playoff run in state finals

Bethlehem started out quickly, getting out to a 12-4 lead midway through in the first quarter. As the first half continued, Kingston forced Bethlehem to start playing at a faster tempo, which led to several uncharacteristic turnovers. But, Bethlehem managed to extend the lead to 23-15 by halftime.

Once the third quarter began, it was clear why Kingston was ranked second in the state. The Tigers came out of the locker room playing faster, stronger and more aggressively then they had in the first 16 minutes. Bethlehem was obviously caught off guard.

"They instilled their will," said Nealon. "You knew they were going to make a run."

Kingston came all the way back to take a 38-32 lead midway through the fourth quarter, but Bethlehem's seniors would not let the playoff run end in this game. Teal stepped up and scored five of her 13 points late in the fourth quarter to spark a closing 11-1 Bethlehem run.

"I knew I had to step up and do something I hadn't been doing," said Teal.

Teal wasn't the only senior to make important shots. McCullough drove the baseline, lowered her shoulder and kissed the ball of the glass with 15.6 seconds left to give Bethlehem the lead for good.

As the final buzzer sounded, the Lady Eagles celebrated at center court.

"We can't believe we are playing in the state championship game tomorrow. We're all really excited," said Olsen, who finished with 10 points including her 1,000th career point.""

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment