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Hamilton Girls Roll Over Haldane to Reach Final

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Maia Hood owned the first quarter and teammate Ayanna Behagen took over in the second half Tuesday, as the Alexander Hamilton girls basketball team rolled to an easy 57-40 victory over Haldane in the semifinals of the Section 1 Class C tournament at the Westchester County Center.

“We’ve been practicing really hard for this game and we came out strong at the beginning of the game,” Hood said. “Then I think we had slowed up a little and Ayanna really picked it up in the second half. We can play much better, but we’re excited to be here in the County Center. I like playing here.”

Hood and Behagen each scored a game-high 20 points as the top-seeded Red Raiders earned a spot in Saturday’s Class C championship game against Keio, the semifinal winner over Solomon Schechter in a game played earlier.

Hamilton opened quickly and took a 20-7 lead after one quarter, as Hood was able to move inside to score eight points in the first quarter. Haldane gathered itself and played better defense in the second quarter, holding Hood to three points and outscoring the Raiders 12-7 to close the deficit to 27-19 at halftime.

Behagen took control on both ends of the floor in the third quarter, scoring on three straight baskets at one point to give the Raiders a 36-25 lead and harassing the Haldane backcourt and producing several turnovers.

“We had to change the way we were playing in the second half because we let them back into the game in the second quarter,” Behagen said. “We had to get that focus back. We played better defense and got to the basket. I was trying hard to keep up the pressure.”

If there was a doubt about Hamilton’s ability to hold on to the lead, it was erased in the third quarter when the Raiders exploded to a 14-8 run to take a 41-27 lead going into the final quarter. Hood took over the rest of the way, scoring at will in the fourth as the Raiders ran off with the win.

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