IRVINGTON, N.Y. For a two-time state champion with a tradition of winning, the Irvington girls basketball team is anything but cocky as it continues its run at another Class B title in a state regional title game Saturday against Long Islands Southampton at Farmingdale State University.
Each team has a different personality, Bulldogs coach Gina Maher said after this group won its third straight Section 1 title last week. I think we are a very hard-working team that has a lot of determination. And of course, we have some very talented girls. We can always do things better though.
While Irvington (21-1) is seeking its third straight state title, Southampton is on a high after winning its first ever Long Island area championship and will be in unfamiliar territory against the experienced Bulldogs.
Southampton edged its regional semifinal opponent 35-34 in a low-scoring game that predicts problems for the Lady Mariners, who may not be able to penetrate the Bulldogs' tough defense. And Irvington has three top scorers - senior Marley Giddins, point guard Brittni Lai and inside force Lexi I Get All the Rebounds Martins.
I really enjoy the rebounding part of the game because it is something I can do well even if I dont score, Martins said. I just like the physical game and playing defense I guess.
Lessi Goree will battle Martins inside for Southampton. The Mariners center had 14 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and steal in the regional semifinal win. Paris Hodges, who had 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals in the win, is a key to the Mariners offense. Cassidy Guida can also add scoring.
But the Bulldogs experience, talent and determination may be too much for Southampton. Look for Irvington to take care of business and punch its ticket to the state Final Four next week in upstate Troy.
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