Class A Finals Game Preview: Division Lady Dragons vs Garden City Lady Trojans

Eric Holden@EricHoldenContributor IMarch 4, 2011

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36 hours from now, the No. 1 seeded Division Lady Dragons (19-1) will meet the No. 2 seed Garden City Lady Trojans (17-3) in the Class A Nassau County finals at C.W. Post.

The game will be the third meeting of the season between the teams, and fans are left wondering which Lady Dragons squad will show up for the rubber match of the series.

Division's only loss this year was to Garden City, a 48-26 blowout on January 4th in a game that they didn't look prepared for from the start.

In that clash, Garden City jumped out to a 28-5 lead by the third quarter and rested their starters for much of the second half. Lady Trojans senior Barbara Sullivan scored 15 points and junior Jess Stein added three, on a long-range shot from beyond the arc.

Since that contest, the Lady Dragons have rattled off 13 straight wins.

There was a playoff-like atmosphere on February 3rd for the second meeting between the squads, and Division came away with a 36-34 victory after trailing by as much as 17 points.

In that showdown, Lady Dragons senior Christina Rea scored 12 points and senior guard Taylor Malings added 11.

Garden City was the top seed in the conference playoff bracket two years ago, but were upset in the quarterfinals and last season they lost in the semifinal game.

Division are the returning champs of Nassau Class A, and look to win the county title for the second year in a row.

Both teams have found success in 2011, but differ stylistically from each other.

"Defense always comes before offense on our team" said Division senior forward Kristen Stuart. "Garden City focuses more on offense. They can shoot threes, drive the lane and post up. Since we contrast in style, it always makes for an exciting game when we play them."

The key to Saturday's game will be the in-game battle between Division senior Breanne Connolly and Garden City junior Kim Ryan. Both are three-point specialists who aren't afraid to take the ball in a big spot.

Connolly has become a fan favorite in Levittown and earned the nickname "The Rainmaker", from pouring down treys on her opponents all season. She is one of the top long-range shooters in the conference and always heats up when the pressure is on.

Ryan can carry her team when her shots are falling, but has earned the reputation of being a streaky shooter. Her plus-side is that she doesn't shy away from the spotlight and wants the ball with the game on the line.

Projected Starters

Division Lady Dragons

  • #10 Kristen Stuart - Senior - 6"0"
  • #4 Susan Ballantyne - Junior - 5'9"
  • #14 Christina Rea - Senior - 5'9"
  • #21 Julie Ballantyne - Senior - 5'7"
  • #24 Taylor Malings - Senior - 5'6"


Garden City Lady Trojans

  • #11 Barbara Sullivan - Senior - 5'10"
  • #4 Kim Ryan - Junior - 5'3"
  • #44 Christina Mangels - Junior - 5'11"
  • #15 Jess Stein - Junior - 5'3"
  • #21 Katie Trimmer - Junior - 5'9"