Kristen Korzevinski is the linchpin for New Hyde Park with an average of 27.8 points per game. But she said she wasn't feeling well Thursday and it showed through the first three quarters in which she scored only 12 points.
Facing a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit, Korzevinski needed some assistance and Victoria Lofaro provided it. Korzevinski scored 14 of her 26 points in the quarter and Lofaro had all eight of her points in the final 2:54 as host New Hyde Park beat South Side, 51-44, in Nassau Conference A-I girls basketball.
Korzevinski added 12 rebounds and five assists and shot 10-for-14 from the field, including 5-for-5 in a 24-11 fourth quarter.
In the pivotal sequence in the quarter, Lofaro came through. She scored on a layup with 2:54 left to give New Hyde Park (6-4, 3-0) its first lead since the opening basket at 43-42. Lofaro scored again off a Korzevinski steal and pass. After Caitlin Wallace's layup brought South Side to within one point with 1:11 left, Lofaro hit a jumper and then scored on a fast-break layup off a long pass from Korzevinski with 38 seconds left for a 49-44 lead.
"We need to help [Korzevinski] out," Lofaro said. "She can't do the work all the time. I knew we had a chance to win and had to find a way to help."
Said New Hyde Park coach Hugh Flaherty of Lofaro: "She's long and lean and can run the floor. A lot of the time on the break she's the first one out there. Kristen finds her."
South Side (5-5, 1-2) was in control most of the way and led 40-31 with five minutes left. Bridget Kiernan (14 points) and Maggie McGowan (nine points) were using their size to exploit the Gladiators inside. New Hyde Park used a 2-1-2 defense to slow South Side in the second half.
Korzevinski scored nine of the Gladiators' first 12 points in the fourth quarter, including a three-pointer with 4:41 left to bring them within 42-36. She then assisted Brianna Patrizzi and scored on a three-point play to cut it to 42-41 with 3:28 left.
"We're doing well and I didn't want to stop it," Korzevinski said of playing through her illness. "It was difficult and I started out slow. I was trying to let my teammates do some of the work. I knew I had to step it up in the fourth quarter."