GLENS FALLS, N.Y. - There will be some extra Long Island flavor in Sunday's state Federation Class AA girls basketball championship game between Sachem East and Christ the King of Queens.
Christ the King's top two players, Bria Smith and Ariel Edwards, and coach Bob Mackey are all from Long Island. Smith, who is from Massapequa, scored a season-high 31 points Saturday in Christ the King's 73-67 win over nationally ranked Bergtraum in the semifinals. Edwards, who had 14 points and nine rebounds, is from Elmont and Mackey is from Smithtown.
"We do a bit of traveling," Mackey said of commuting to the city Catholic school.
Sachem East, which won the state public school title March 21 and received a bye into the Federation final, knows it faces a tough challenge against Christ the King, the state CHSAA champion. Tipoff is 1 p.m. Sunday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Christ the King (25-5) has won 14 Federation titles since 1990. And Saturday, it beat rival and previously unbeaten Bergtraum (ranked No. 6 by USA Today), which had reached the Federation final the previous 10 seasons.
With the benefit of a bye into the final, Sachem East's players and coaches were able to watch the entire semifinal between their potential opponents. The Flaming Arrows (22-3) arrived in Glens Falls about 30 minutes before the 2 p.m. tip to take in the game. Coach Matt Brisson was impressed with Christ the King.
"They played some man-to-man, some zone, they pressed a little bit, and they were tight with everything they did," Brisson said. "We'll need to be on our toes in terms of adjusting to whatever pressure they throw at us, and be able to get back defensively."
Sachem East's Kristen Doherty, who had 22 points in the state final win against Shenendehowa, expects a fast-paced game. "Both teams pressing and running, that's how we play," said Doherty, who watched the semifinal from the stands.
"Christ the King is going to come out and give everything they have. It's the final," Doherty said. "But if we play our style, we can play with them. It's going to be a good game."
Doherty, a senior who is headed to Boston College next fall, needs 11 points to move into seventh place on the all-time scoring list for Long Island girls basketball players. She has 2,248 career points and would move ahead of Patty Reynolds of Valley Stream South (1982-86).