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Irvington Girls Set Sights on Third State Title

IRVINGTON, N.Y. – Irvington girls’ basketball coach Gina Maher says each championship team has its own personality and judging by the success of the current Bulldogs team, hard work may be the predominant personality trait of the 2011-2012 squad.

The two-time defending Class B state champion Bulldogs (20-1) ran by a good Blind Brook team Saturday, 68-33, to win their third consecutive Section 1 Class B title and advance to Tuesday’s state regional semifinal against Section 9’s Highland High School at the Westchester County Center in a 4:45 p.m. tip-off.

“This group works very hard on defense and rebounding and that’s what makes them special,” Maher said following the Section 1 final victory. “We made several adjustments on defense and that helped us turn the game around. Lexi (Martins) is such a determined player under the boards and she sets the tone.”

Martins scored 20 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in the win against Blind Brook and the Bulldogs defense toughened in the second half.

“We do have talented players, but I think we win because we work hard,” Martins said. “We know we have to be at our best to win.”

The Bulldogs will be facing Highland for the third straight time in the state regional semifinal, having won the two previous games fairly easily. A win will put the state champs three games away from a third straight title.

“We really support each other on and off the court,” said point guard Brittni Lai. “We have a good team from our starters all the way down the bench. We’re looking forward to our next game.”

Marley Giddins, Jaime Gelardi and Alyssa DiCampli fill out the starting five and Ryan McMahon and Lauren Chafizadeh lead a strong group of Bulldogs off the bench who each contribute to Maher’s system.

Laura DiCampli, Roxy Trama, Nikki Legha, Lucy Jones, Catherine Hoy and Laurilyn Gelardi round out the Irvington roster.

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