The Lynbrook girls basketball team made it to the Class A semifinals in 2010, but were stopped in its tracks by Levittown Divison.
With many of the same girls returning for another season, however, the Owls are confident of their chances to be right back in the championship race.
Playing out of Conference A-III, as opposed to A-II last season, Lynbrook returns all but two players. In 2010, the Lady Owls finished with a respectable 15-5 overall record, concluding with the 42-35 semifinal loss to the Blue Dragons. Lynbrook also lost to Division in the Nassau County finals in 2009.
“The underlying goal is to get to the finals, and we have a really strong senior class," said Heather Manikas, seventh-year head coach. "If everyone works together, we could hopefully take the counties. We are really working on a tight defense because that’s really what wins games.”
Fifth-year varsity player Brooke Gerstman, who earned All-County accolades as a junior last season, looks to lead the team in her final year.
“We have five seniors who are playing and are healthy, and I think with the experience Shannon [Baker] and I have as captains, we get to show the team the way for future years,” Gerstman said. “We should really utilize our speed and run the ball this year.”
The senior Baker, playing in her fourth year on varsity, provides another leadership role on the court along with Gerstman.
“We have a couple of things to work on, but since most of us have been playing together for so long, we work really well together, so it should lead to a good season,” said Baker, who received All-Conference honors in 2010. “I am going to try to keep everyone motivated and make sure we work hard.”
Seniors Danielle Amaya and Christine Randazzo will be counted on to provide a bulk of the rebounding and interior defense at the forward spots. Randazzo’s twin sister, Maria, will be out for the season with an injury, but the Owls hope to overcome the early mishap.
Lynbrook looks to get off on the right foot with a non-league game against North Shore to start the season. The Owls defeated this same team in the 2010 quarterfinals by one point to advance to the semifinals game against Division.
Also playing in Conference A-III along with Lynbrook will be Great Neck North, Valley Stream South, Glen Cove, Floral Park, West Hempstead and Manhasset.
“We need to take care of business no matter who we play and focus on what we know how to do, and we should get the win,” Manikas said.
Along with North Shore, the Lady Owls will play non-league games against Baldwin, East Rockaway and Sacred Heart during the 2011-12 season.
For complete schedule information, visit the Nassau Boces athletics page.