Stephanie Burrow seems content nestled in Kristen Doherty's shadow. Ask her what it's like to share the court with a spotlight player, and Burrow will smile and talk about what a phenomenal teacher Doherty has become.
But as Burrow took her turn to shine in the third quarter of Monday's Suffolk Class AA semifinal at Farmingdale State, it became readily apparent that the sun never quite sets on Sachem East girls basketball.
The Flaming Arrows (17-3) pushed aside Ward Melville (17-4), 70-32, aided by Burrow's 14 points and Doherty's team- high 21, to advance to the final against North Babylon Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Farmingdale State.
Burrow scored 10 in a 21- point third quarter as Doherty, double-teamed by the Patriots, struggled to get touches. She took her only shot of the period - a short jumper that bounced off the rim - as time expired.
"She's been a solid force for us all year," coach Matt Brisson said of Burrow, whom he called "maybe one of the most underrated players in the county."
"Kristen is a special talent," he said. "Kids get lost in the shadows, but [Burrow] gets the points when she needs to."
Sachem started off shakily, scoring 10 points to Ward Melville's five in the first quarter and going 3-for-20 from the floor. The second, though, ushered in a reinvigorated team and a more aggressive Doherty.
Doherty kicked off the quarter with two field goals - the second a lefty layup over heavy traffic - to ignite Sachem in a 10-2 run and expand the lead to 20-7 with 3:31 left. The Arrows led 31-11 at the half and never looked back thanks to major contributions by Meagan Doherty (15 points) and Caitlin Hopkins (14).
With the season on the line, Burrow said "everyone steps up." And out of the shadows.