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Lady Tigers Ready To Host Playoffs 

Northport freshman guard Stephanie Rapp maneuvers the ball away from her Lady Marauder opponents during the Feb.7 game against Bay Shore.

On Thursday, the Smithtown East girls basketball team will enter the Lady Tigers’ den for the first round of the Suffolk Class AA playoffs.

The girls basketball playoff bracket ranked Northport the seventh seeded team in the county’s large school division after earning second place in League II with a record of 12-2.

The Lady Tigers’ playoff berth was put in question, albeit for a brief time, at last Friday’s game against Bay Shore. The Lady Tigers started with a relatively marginal lead over the Lady Marauders and at halftime and led 25-13.

But the claws came out in full force in the second half, when Northport surged offensively,  put up 28 points in the third period alone and put Bay Shore’s three-point third quarter to shame.

Locking in another 15 points in the last period, the Lady Tigers were back on top of their game and defeated No. 14 Bay Shore 69-24.

Senior guard Lizzy Atkinson put up 18 points at the Lady Tiger’s Feb. 7 home game and freshman guard/forward Heather Jerome scored 10 points against Bay Shore.

Freshman guard/forward Stephanie Rapp added 9 points; senior guard/forward Emily Robarge scored 7 points and senior guard/forward Vincenza Patrone and sophomore Erin Henningsen each added 5 points to lead Northport over Bay Shore in the last League II game of the winter season.

The Lady Tigers’ third (period) surge, however, was not an isolated incident. Taking on Sachem North on Feb. 4, the Lady Tigers also had a decent lead over the opposition at halftime and led 23-13. But shortly after a brief 10-minute rest period, the girls returned to the court fully reenergized and scored 22 points in the third. After adding 12 more points in the final quarter, Northport walked away with a 57-29 victory over Sachem.

Last Tuesday, junior guard Sarah Simmons scored 15 points and Henningsen added 21 points and had 9 rebounds. Atkinson scored 6 points with 4 assists; Robarge added 6 on net, Henningsen also put up 6 points and had 9 rebounds; and Jerome added 5 points for the Lady Tigers.

The Northport girls basketball team is scheduled to host No. 10 Smithtown East (11-3) for the first round of playoffs tonight at Northport High School. Game time is set for 6 p.m.

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