By Bill Landon
Northport girls basketball, No. 2 seed, faced a tough match against No. 3-ranked Ward Melville Tuesday night to keep their championship dreams alive.
It was a tight game that saw several lead changes but with less the 2 minutes left the Tigers defense stood its ground, holding Ward Melville at bay to clinch a 61-56 victory in the Class AA semifinal round.
Northport junior Danielle Pavinelli topped the scoring charts for the Tigers with six 2-pointers, a trey and 5 from the stripe for a total of 20 points. Junior guard Kelly McLaughlin followed with 14 and junior forward Kerry Dennin banked 11 points on the night.
Ward Melville’s Lauren Hansen led the way in scoring for the Patriots netting seven field goals, three triples and 10 from the free throw line for 33 points.
Northport’s season continues Feb. 22 when they’ll face off against top-seeded Longwood for the Class AA crown. The game will be hosted at Walt Whitman High School, located at 301 W. Hills Road in Huntington Station, with tipoff at 7 p.m.