Katie Doherty leads Sachem East to win

Sachem East's Katie Doherty controls the ball against Sachem East's Katie Doherty controls the ball against Riverhead in the Suffolk girls basketball Class AA quarterfinal game. (Feb. 20, 2013) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

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Doherty.

Oh, how that name has become synonymous with Sachem East basketball. Well, synonymous with dominating on the court for Sachem East, to be exact.

Superstar sharpshooter Meagan Doherty successfully succeeded Kristen, who was one of the greatest scorers in Long Island history. But she graduated last year. And just as the team ran out of Doherty sisters -- and before Suffolk could sigh in relief -- there emerged cousin Katie.

Oh, and how often "Doherty" was called on the PA system of Sachem East's gymnasium Wednesday. Katie Doherty had 21 points and seven assists, leading the second-seeded Flaming Arrows in a 63-38 win over No. 7 Riverhead in a Class AA quarterfinal.

"I think there's some kind of basketball gene in that family," coach Matt Brisson said, jokingly. "Jimmy and Tommy played at Sachem, stayed local and had daughters. They keep rolling in. Who's luckier than me?"

The school's athletic department, perhaps. Katie Doherty, a junior, has also helped lead the field hockey team to two state championships. But back to basketball . . .

The 5-10 point guard scored eight points in the second quarter as Sachem East pulled away with a 20-4 period. Her drives into the paint helped clear the perimeter and Emily Carmel (11 points) drained two corner threes in the quarter, the second of which put the Flaming Arrows up 34-15 with 2:40 left in the half.

"Katie is a true leader," Carmel said. "She's one of the nicest people I know, a hard worker and she sets a good example... She makes everyone better."

Kathleen Everson dominated the post and showed off some range, hitting a couple jumpers off pick-and-roll. She scored 12 of her 16 points in the third quarter and had 11 rebounds. The Flaming Arrows starters were pulled early in the fourth.

"We've felt the sting of losing in the playoffs," Doherty said, referring to the 47-45 upset to Hauppauge in last year's semifinals, when Sachem East was the top seed. "That's in our minds and we wanted to make a statement."

Sammy Drake scored eight points and Allie Drake added seven for Sachem East (17-2), which will face Whitman in the semifinals at 3 p.m. Saturday at St. Joseph's College.

Shanice Allen scored 14 points and Naysha Trent had seven for No. 7 Riverhead (12-8), which was the defending Long Island champion.

Sachem East’s assistant coach Brent Lawrence wore to a practice a shirt with the score of last year’s semifinal loss on it, Everson said, “and it serves as a reminder that we’ve got unfinished business.”

But for the Flaming Arrows, advancing to Suffolk's final four with a roster headlined by a Doherty -- that's business as usual.

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