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Davis has 19 for Center Moriches in Class B loss

Center Moriches Amber Davis hits for two in

Center Moriches Amber Davis hits for two in first half. (March 12, 2010) Credit: Photo by Patrick E. McCarthy

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - Amber Davis tried to encourage her teammates all game. She clapped her hands repeatedly on trips up and down the floor and pumped her fist after good plays. And she provided much of the scoring for the Center Moriches girls basketball team, too. But it wasn't enough.

By the end of the fourth quarter, the frustration was evident on her face.

The Red Devils' playoff run ended with a 65-47 loss to Westchester Irvington Friday night in the Southeast Regional Class B final at Pace University. Davis led Center Moriches with 19 points, but the Red Devils (17-8) fell behind 25-8 at the end of the first quarter.

"It really didn't matter how many points I had," said Davis, a junior forward who couldn't hold back the tears when she was taken out with less than two minutes left with the Red Devils trailing by 20. "I just wanted to win."

Nine first-quarter turnovers plagued the Red Devils and helped Irvington build the large lead. Irvington guard Lisa Bucci (19 points) punctuated the opening run by hitting a deep three-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer to put the Devils behind by 17 points.

Center Moriches settled in after that, outscoring Irvington 11-8 in the second quarter and cutting its deficit to 12 as Jessica Bandrowski scored five straight points to make it 42-30 with 1:33 to go in the third quarter.

But Bucci hit consecutive threes and hit two foul shots to put Irvington ahead 50-30 heading into the fourth.

The Devils briefly pulled within 12 again with 3:50 left in the fourth, but Irvington ended on a 9-3 run.

Bandrowski, a senior playing her final game, had 10 points. Kelsey Glanzman added eight points and six rebounds.

"We fell behind early and that's really what killed us," Center Moriches coach Rich Alifano said. "We played pretty even after that but couldn't come back. We'll be back here next year."

There's reason to think that's a possibility. Davis was one of four non-senior starters. The young team won its first Long Island championship Tuesday, beating Locust Valley, 41-19.

"We had a good season," Davis said. "We should be back."


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