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Samantha Burden, Maria Hyland lead Carle Place past Locust Valley in Class B semifinal

Sarh Pisani of Carle Place splits defenders as

Sarh Pisani of Carle Place splits defenders as she drives to the basket. (Feb. 16, 2013) Credit: David Pokress

Score 11 points, grab five rebounds, facilitate as the point-forward with five assists, lead the defense and make key plays down the stretch.

Samantha Burden shrugged afterward and summed it up simply: "I do what I gotta do."

She did a lot, helping Carle Place do what it had to: earn a 49-36 victory over Locust Valley Saturday in a Nassau Class B girls basketball semifinal at Cold Spring Harbor.

Maria Hyland did perhaps more than she had to, leading the Frogs with 13 points and 11 rebounds, despite playing with a 101 fever.

"I didn't know whether or not I could go," the junior said, "but I told myself, 'Go for it.' I didn't feel as bad as I thought I would, and it was totally worth it."

Hyland playing sick -- and pulling off a sick play -- helped ice the game late. She scored on an off-balance scoop layup in traffic, while being fouled, and sank the free throw to put Carle Place up 45-33 with 1:21 remaining. "Even with the fever," coach Michael Bello said, "she was a beast down low."

The second-seeded Frogs took control in the second quarter, holding No.3 Locust Valley to four points, and avenged last year's semifinal loss to their rivals.

Laura Murphy's layup gave Carle Place a 32-21 lead late in the third, but the Falcons rallied in the fourth and pulled within 34-29 on Marissa Reyes' basket with 6:37 left.

Following a timeout, the Frogs' defense picked up, but its offense remained stagnant. So Burden did what she had to do: The senior maneuvered through the lane with a crossover, drove left and hit a tough finger roll to answer with 4:53 left.

And with 2:34 remaining and Carle Place up 7, Burden -- already with a bruised right knee -- dove for a loose ball along the baseline and wrestled it away from an opponent. That possession led her freshman sister, Kacey, drilling a jumper to make it 40-31.

"Sam's hustle is unbelievable," Hyland said. "She does any and everything, even the little things, to help this team."

That includes having them over to her house Monday to break down film of defending champ Cold Spring Harbor, whom the Frogs will face on Feb. 23. Their art teacher, Mr. Krause, shot video of the Seahawks' win over Oyster Bay Saturday, senior Taylor Ruscillo said, and the prep work begins in front of the TV.

"With no school [this] week, we needed somewhere to watch it," Burden said, "and since I'm a captain, I said 'Come on over.' "

Meredith McLaughlin had 10 points and six rebounds, and point guard Sarah Pisani seven points, five assists and four steals for Carle Place (15-3). Ruscillo added four points and four rebounds.

Brooke Spallino scored 20 points and Reyes had six for Locust Valley (13-6).

"I'm thrilled with how we played and we executed the game plan," Bello said. "As for Sam, is there any more you could ask of her?"

One more thing, actually. Teammates said they'd like bagels for the film session.

Gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

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