It was a must win for the Patriots girls basketball team (3-0) in a home game against League I rival Longwood (3-0) for sole possession of first place to secure the top seed and a home game for the playoffs. Ward Melville stayed with the Lions through 16 minutes of play trailing by 1 to open the second half but Longwood stretched their legs, outscoring the Patriots by 20 points to win the game, 57-38.
Angelene Bailey led the Longwood leaderboard with 21 points followed by Taydra Simpson who added 14.
Ward Melville sophomore Julia Greek topped the scoring chart for the Patriots with five field goals, three triples and a free throw for 20 points. Teammate Summer Agostino, the lone senior for the Patriots, netted 11. Courtney Quinn added five and Grace Mulham banked two.
Ward Melville’s loss dropped the Patriots to third place Feb. 25, and they will travel to Northport for the first round of post season play Saturday Feb. 27. Tipoff is at noon.