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SportsHigh SchoolGirls Basketball

Corbin, Baldwin off to fast start

When the Baldwin girls basketball team went away for a camp in Pennsylvania, Kiera Corbin was the leading scorer. The junior guard continued her offensive ascent and played a big role in the fall league.

It translated into the beginning of the season Saturday. Corbin scored 18 points for Baldwin a 50-31 win over Center Moriches in the Under Armour Classic at St. John the Baptist.

Corbin was a reserve last season, but with the graduation of leading scorer Shayna Gatling, Corbin is starting.

"I feel like I have to play a big part this season," Corbin said. "I know I have to step up."

She certainly did against Center Moriches, the defending Suffolk Class B champion.

"I think she's going to have a breakout year," Baldwin coach Tom Catapano said. "She's the quickest kid I ever coached."

That makes Corbin fit in well to the Bruins' puzzle. They have excellent guard play with several athletic and quick players.

"She definitely adds another slasher," Baldwin senior Courtney Jackson said. "She's quicker than everyone and she gets her shots off."

Corbin hit a three-pointer in the first quarter before scoring eight points in the second quarter on three drives to the basket and a jumper.

"I was frustrating in the beginning," she said. "I kept getting beat on the dribble. I just brought my 'A' game in the second quarter. I adjusted and attacked the defense."

That's a mentality the Bruins have and they had an easy time getting to the basket. Baldwin led 27-18 at the half, but Amber Davis (nine points) opened the second half with a basket to pull Center Moriches (2-1) within 27-20.

Alex Hampton scored followed by four consecutive points from Corbin to extend the Bruins' lead to 33-20. Hampton scored nine of her 18 points in a 16-5 third quarter to push the lead to 43-23.

"I tried to get good looks in the lane," said Hampton, who also had six assists and three steals. "If there was an opening, I attacked it."

Baldwin (1-0) won the Nassau Class AA championship last season on the strength of their aggressive defense and quickness. The Bruins showed those traits against Center Moriches, limiting the Red Devils to nine field goals.

Davis had a difficult time getting any good looks with Jackson guarding her most of the time and Kelsey Glanzman was held to seven points.

"Everybody was aware of where they were at all times," Catapano said. "In my opinion, Jackson is the best defender in the county. She was used to this last year as a junior. We denied Davis everywhere on the court. Jackson was tenacious on her. Every shot she put up we closed out on her."

Baldwin returns eight players from last season's championship team. The Bruins don't have size, but they play very aggressive. They gave Sachem East, the defending state Class AA champions, a scare in the LIC finals last season.

"We're not big," Catapano said, "but we're definitely tenacious and fast. I don't know if we have a superstar, but we're deep and play hard. It will be defense and everyone chipping in on offense."

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