“It’s really exciting. I know a girl for UV,” Manzanero said of Storm forward Amanda Off, who scored 22 points in UV’s 54-42 victory over visiting B-G in the other semifinal Thursday. “We made a goal to beat Harpursville, both of us, and we did. And we made a goal to both get to SUCO. Hopefully, they’re going there, too. I want to see them there because I know it will be a good game. It feels great.”
Unatego and UV met last week, with the Storm earning a 55-52 road victory.
But if the Spartans can put together a first half similar to the one it had against Harpursville on Thursday, they’ll be tough to handle in the final.
Using ball movement, screens and plenty of crisp cuts without the basketball, Unatego made 13 of its 27 shots in the first half en route to a 30-17 lead.
Ten of those baskets came on layups against Harpursville’s man-to-man defense.
“We knew that they were going to come out and play aggressive man-to-man defense,” Bonczkowski said. “That’s what they’re known for and we wanted to attack the rim, get the ball to the basket and get some easy looks early. If you make those, then the basket seems to get a little bigger from the perimeter.”
Unatego scored the game’s first six points, all on layups. Manzanero scored in transition off the opening tip, Marissa Woodard hit a layup off a pass from Mannina and Manzanero converted on a spin move near the basket off another pass from Mannina to make it 6-0 1 minute, 28 seconds into play.
An 8-0 run to end the first quarter gave the Spartans a 17-7 lead. That spurt included a layup by Manzanero off a pass from Kayla Talbot, an inside basket from Woodard off a pass from Robin Foster, and a steal and left-handed finish by Mannina.