ALBANY -- The Long Island Lutheran girls basketball team, clearly starved for competition after not playing a game since Feb. 23, staged its own version of "The Hunger Games" on Friday.

The Lady Crusaders began defense of their state Federation Class B title by devouring Scholars Academy, 72-44, in a semifinal at the Times Union Center. "It's a great feeling to come back and work together," forward Staci Barrett said.

Lutheran used a suffocating trap to ensnare Scholars Academy (16-4) early, and after a 12-0 first-quarter blitz that produced a 15-3 advantage, this one was never in doubt. Lutheran (18-5) led 28-8 after one period and used all 11 players.

The Lady Crusaders will face Irvington, which defeated Cardinal O'Hara, 74-57, for the Federation championship at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. It's the third straight title-game showdown between the two schools. Lutheran rallied from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit to win last year; Irvington won it 2010.

Boogie Brozoski scored seven of her nine points during the early run, turning two steals into layups and converting a three-point play with a clever scoop shot that drew a foul. Barrett owned the boards in the second quarter, scoring 11 of her 16 points. Christina Raiti shone in the third, draining three of her five three-pointers. She had 15 points.

"Everyone on the team has a role," Barrett said. "Boogie's is to be the best point guard she can. Christina is the shooter. My role is to get rebounds. My father [Rhett] has been telling me, 'Every ball that goes up is yours.' That's in my head."

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Barrett grabbed eight rebounds, six offensive, in limited time. Sade Gibbons came off the bench to total 11 more, as Lutheran out-rebounded Scholars, 53-22. The Lady Crusaders also made 16 steals and forced 28 turnovers.

Paige Kriftcher may have been the hungriest of all the Lutheran girls. A key to last year's dramatic comeback in the state final, she tore her left MCL on Jan. 9. Except for a token appearance on senior night, she hasn't played in a game since the injury. "It felt a little weird, but OK," said Kriftcher, who shot 3-for-10, but had five assists and four steals. "Game speed is different from practice speed."

Kriftcher, a senior, scored six points, leaving her 13 shy of 1,000. That milestone wasn't on her mind. "I just want to repeat as state champion and have the same feeling I had last year," she said.

The hunger remains.