Kristen Doherty had carried Sachem East for 31/2 quarters, but late in Friday night's Long Island Class AA girls basketball championship / state Southeast Regional final, she got a little help from her little sister.
Kristen Doherty scored 28 points and Meagan Doherty had all eight of her points in the fourth quarter as Sachem East held on to defeat Baldwin, 57-44, at Farmingdale State.
Sachem East will play Kingston or Mount Vernon in a state semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Friday at Hudson Valley CC in Troy.
"The whole game, I really wasn't getting looks, and I missed two big threes," Meagan Doherty said. "I knew eventually I just had to step up."
Baldwin's Shayna Gatling (19 points) completed a three-point play with six minutes remaining to cut her team's deficit to 45-40.
"Shayna came out and played great," Kristen Doherty said. "She wasn't going to lose by a lot. Last game as a senior, that's what you expect. You expect players to not want to leave anything behind."
But Meagan Doherty buried a three on the ensuing possession to put Sachem East up by eight again.
Two minutes later, a jumper by Baldwin's Katie Greene made it 50-44. Again it was Meagan Doherty who answered, this time with a long two-pointer. The sophomore drilled another three-pointer with 1:21 left to extend Sachem's lead to 55-44.
"That's what you can expect from Meagan," Kristen Doherty said. "She can be cold the entire game, but when you need her to step up and hit those shots, she'll always do it. I think she's the best spot-up three-point shooter on the Island."
Said Sachem East coach Matt Brisson: "That's our mode of operation. Whether it's Stephanie [Burrow] or Meagan, somebody always steps up. Kristen is a constant, Hops is a constant, but we're very fortunate to have several weapons that can come out when you need it most."
Burrow added 10 points and Hopkins had seven points and several big steals and blocks.
Baldwin kept it close with a fast-paced, balanced scoring attack and tenacious defense. Gatling, Courtney Jackson and Alex Hampton all provided tough defense on Kristen Doherty in the fourth quarter.
Said Baldwin coach Tom Catapano: "They played their hearts out and the better team won. They've got some special players over there. And I'm real proud of the kids on this team. They shouldn't hold their heads down. They played their hearts out."
Said Brisson, "They're outstanding. Our kids got tested early on. It's like being punched in the face early on in a fight and you gotta recover and come back. It doesn't surprise me. He's a great coach and he had his team prepared."