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Irvington Welcomes State Champions Back Home

IRVINGTON, N.Y. – Sleepy Irvington was awakened by police car and fire truck lights and sirens late Saturday night as the village welcomed the Irvington High School girls basketball team back home after the Bulldogs won their third consecutive Class B championship in upstate Troy earlier in the afternoon.

“It’s so nice to see everyone out to meet us and with the fire trucks and all the lights,” said Bulldogs coach Gina Maher, who won her fourth state title. “The girls were all up and yelling on the bus. We thrilled to have another championship and so thankful for all the support we get from everyone.”

Irvington defeated upstate South Jefferson 69-42 at Hudson Valley Community College in a game that began at 4 p.m. and the Bulldogs were on the road and on their way back by 7 p.m. The bus that carried the three-peat champions back home displayed a happy dancing leprechaun on its sides, the perfect vehicle for the St. Patrick’s Day championship.

Irvington police and fire vehicles met the bus as it left the Tappan Zee Bridge and formed a noisy escort south on Broadway through the village to where the bus emptied its precious cargo of players and coaches at the Irvington Fire Station on Main Street.

Marley Giddins, a senior leader and star player on the three straight championship teams, joined her teammates, family members and fans upstairs at the firehouse for pizza.

“It’s great to come back to all these great people,” Giddins said. “We are really like a big family on this team. We do so much together – eat meals, spend so much time with each other. Our coach is really like a mother to us. I’m sure we’ll never forget these times.”

Maher said she was thrilled to bring another state title home to Irvington and added a special reason why winning was so satisfying with another challenge ahead as the Bulldogs prepare to meet the Class B champion from parochial, private and New York City schools in next week’s stat Federation tournament.

“I just thought it would be wonderful to have another week with Marley,” Maher said of her senior player. “She is such a wonderful player and person. I’m going to enjoy having this last week of the season with her and the team.”

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