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Sachem East girls plan to keep state AA title on LI

Sachem East Flaming Arrows senior Kristen Doherty (21)

Sachem East Flaming Arrows senior Kristen Doherty (21) takes a free throw during the second half of the Class AA Final against the Baldwin Lady Bruins. (March 12, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday/Christopher Pasatieri

Sachem East will try to become the second consecutive Long Island team to win the state Class AA championship after Copiague did it last season. The Flaming Arrows will play Mount Vernon in the state Class AA semifinals at 6:15 p.m. Friday at Hudson Valley CC in Troy.

The championship game will be played at 8:45 p.m. Saturday.

The teams played during the 2008-09 regular season and Sachem East won, 65-41. Sachem East returns four starters and Mount Vernon brings back its top six players.

Sachem East is led by Boston College-bound Kristen Doherty. The senior guard has 2,195 career points and is 10th all-time on Long Island. Caitlin Hopkins is a threat inside, Meagan Doherty is an excellent three-point shooter and Stephanie Burrow has come on strong the last few weeks after battling an ankle injury. Kelsey Ferguson usually guards the opponent's top threat and makes key plays that don't show up in the boxscore.

Mount Vernon, making its first final four appearance in 29 years, features 5-8 senior guard Taylor Palmer, who will play at West Virginia and is the team's leading scorer at 15.6 points per game. Senior forward Shanyce Stewart, who is 6-1, is the leading rebounder with 13.8 per game and 5-8 senior forward Tatiana Lewin can shoot, rebound and play inside.

Sachem East has won 16 consecutive games by an average of 26.1 points and is 42-4 the past two seasons. Sachem (when it was one school) last won a state championship in 1995 as a Class A school.

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