McKenna guides Glenn to Suffolk 'A' title
Allison McKenna knew the double-teams were going to come at her incessantly. The Glenn senior center struggled to get the ball in good position in the first half and even settled for two three-point attempts.
But with the game on the line, McKenna came through. She scored nine of her 15 points in the second half and added 11 rebounds and four blocked shots for top-seeded Glenn in a 47-45 win over No. 2 Harborfields Saturday in the Suffolk Class A girls basketball championship game at St. Joseph's.
It is the second consecutive season that Glenn (20-0) defeated Harborfields (18-2) in the final. Glenn will play Southampton in the Small Schools championship game at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Farmingdale State.
"We knew they were going to double me as much as they can," McKenna said. "It happened last year, too. That allowed us to get more open looks. I knew as a senior the pressure had to be on me. I did whatever I could to win the game. It feels great as a senior. We knew they wanted to beat us so bad."
While McKenna made big plays late, so did freshman reserve Tanna Mohammed and junior Emma Klis. Mohammed scored 12 points and Klis had 10, including going 4-for-4 from the foul line in the final nine seconds.
"I really had to stay focused," Klis said of the free throws. "I had to forget about the crowd and put them in. It definitely wasn't easy."
Neither team led by more than five points. McKenna gave Glenn the lead for good when she scored inside with 3:04 left to make it 40-39. McKenna later was doubled under the basket and dished to a cutting Mohammed for a layup with 1:19 left to extend the lead to 42-39.
McKenna then blocked a three-point attempt and sank a free throw with 41 seconds left for a 43-39 lead. But Bridgit Ryan hit two free throws with 30 seconds to play to bring Harborfields within 43-41.
After a Glenn turnover, Harborfields missed a three-pointer. Klis hit two free throws with nine seconds left to push the lead to 45-41 before Lexi O'Connor (20 points), who had five three-pointers, hit one with 4.5 seconds left to make it 45-44.
Klis made two free throws with 3.6 seconds left to give Glenn a 47-44 lead. O'Connor then attempted a desperation three-pointer with one second left and was fouled. It appeared she was fouled in the act of shooting, but after the officials huddled, they ruled the foul occurred before the shot.
O'Connor hit the front end of a one-and-one and intentionally missed the second -- and McKenna grabbed the rebound as time expired.
"That's not right," Harborfields coach Russ Tietjen said. "Of course she was shooting. She knows how much time is left. That's embarrassing right there.
"I thought we should have played better. I don't think we played that great on offense. I give them credit. Glenn's defense was good. It shouldn't have come down to that. We should have played better."
Mohammed scored 10 of her points in the first three quarters. She took advantage of the double-teaming of McKenna.
"That happened last year," Mohammed said. "I knew I had to step up."
Glenn coach Andy Athanas said: "I always said Tanna is key. She is a very valuable part of this. If they double Allison, if you swing the ball fast enough, someone is going to be open."