Clarkstown South played Thursday’s Section 1 Class AA quarterfinal more like a game of chess than a game of basketball: Smart, methodical, then when the time for a big move came — boom, checkmate.
Sophomore Jenna Feinberg delivered the final blow, sinking two free throws with 8.9 seconds left to give the undefeated, third-seeded Vikings their 20th win, 59-55. But it was a series of moves and events that ultimately led Clarkstown South to victory.
Laura Castaldo, committed to Maryland-Baltimore County, scored 15 points in the third quarter and took Arlington’s queen. Arlington put itself in check when it put Clarkstown South in the bonus for the final 11 minutes of the game. Feinberg’s free throws toppled the king.
“I had to ‘X’ out the crowd. My team really encouraged me. Coach, too. They had my back,” said Feinberg, who finished with 10 points, seven of which came at the foul line. “Our program has grown a lot as a team, and everyone has come to support (us), so it’s awesome.”
The Vikings advanced to the Westchester County Center to face No. 7-seeded Mahopac in the semifinals on Thursday at 3 p.m. The matchup will feature two first-year coaches in Clarkstown South’s Brian Metcalf and Mahopac’s Chuck Scozzafava.
“There was no (doubt) in my mind that we were not losing. I wanted to go to the County Center so bad, and we finally did it,” said Castaldo, who was playing in her last home game at Clarkstown South. “(Metcalf) always says, ’11 as one,’ and that’s what we do. It’s amazing playing team basketball.”
Castaldo scored 28 points, pushing her into sole possession of 12th place on the all-time Rockland County scoring list with 1,483. Kayla Tucek added 13 points in the win.
It was an emotional win for Metcalf, who’d lost his mother-in law-to cancer earlier in the week. The team honored her memory by donning orange socks, a clash against their usual white, brown and gold colors.
“Clarkstown South really wanted to give a fight,” Metcalf said. “Regardless if we won, we knew we were going to come back in the second half.”
Mahopac 68, Lourdes 59: In a Class AA quarterfinal at No. 2 Lourdes, Alayne Felix led the No. 7 Indians to the upset victory with 25 points. Teammate Maried Hynes added 23. Emily Ferreri had 30 points for Lourdes. Mahopac will face No. 3 Clarkstown South in the semifinals at the County Center on Thursday at 3 p.m.
Ossining 82, New Rochelle 65: In a Class AA quarterfinal at No. 1 Ossining, Jalay Knowles scored a game-high 26 points. Shadeen Samuels (11 points), Abby Squirrell (10 points) and Stefanie Svoboda (10 points) also scored in double-figures. The Pride will face No. 4 Horace Greeley in the semifinals at the County Center on Thursday at 8:15 p.m.
Rye Country Day 62, Masters 47: In the quarterfinals of the Fairchester Athletic Association playoffs at No. 3 Rye Country Day, Wildcats junior Tara Berger had 20 points and 16 rebounds. Rye Country Day will play at No. 2 Convent of the Sacred Heart in the semifinals Saturday at 5:30 p.m.