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Mailings leads Division girls to LI 'A' title

The Division Avenue Blue Dragons pose for a

The Division Avenue Blue Dragons pose for a team photo after defeating the Harborfields Tornadoes for the Class A Championship. (March 12, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday/Christopher Pasatieri

Taylor Mailings hasn't been asked to score much for Division. The junior point guard has the responsibility of getting the ball inside to 6-footers Kristen Stuart and Kristen Costello and the 5-10 Nicolette Parmese.

But Mailings chose a good time to unveil that Division can also hit some shots from the outside. Mailings had a season-high 14 points for Division in a 57-51 win over Harborfields on Friday night in the Long Island Class A / Southeast Regional final at Farmingdale State.

Division (20-1) won its first Long Island championship and advances to the state Class A semifinals to play the winner of Lakeland vs. Maine-Endwell at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Hudson Valley CC in Troy.

Mailings scored 12 points in the Nassau final for her two biggest games offensively this season. Mailings hit three three-pointers in each game. Division hasn't hit many three-pointers this season.

"It's helped us so much," Mailings said. "A lot of teams know since the beginning of the season, we really haven't been able to shoot from the outside. I think we have got a lot better at it."

Said Division coach Steve Kissane: "We had two weeks off and Taylor Mailings didn't take off. She's been working on her shooting and it paid off. She is calm. She doesn't show much emotion. She wants to be a leader. I didn't expect this in multiple games from her."

It's just another dimension added to an athletic Division team. Julie Ballantyne scored 13 points, Stuart 12 points and Costello nine.

Division capped the first half with a 15-0 run to take a 31-17 lead. Mailings ignited it with a three-pointer and had eight points in the run. Ballantyne capped the half with a three-pointer.

"That has helped us a lot," Ballantyne said. "Now we have some outside shooting. Once we show teams we can shoot, they start paying attention to the outside and realize we can do both."

Harborfields (17-6), led by Bridgit Ryan's 17 points, didn't go quietly. The Tornadoes trailed by 15 points with 5:35 left and cut it to 51-48 with 29 seconds left after Ryan's third three-pointer of the quarter. Mailings hit two free throws with 28 seconds left to extend it to 53-48.

"We're not known for our shooting," Costello said. "Taylor Mailings stepped up and hit some big shots."

Said Harborfields coach Russ Tietjen: "I couldn't have asked for more. In the second quarter, I think we panicked a little bit, lost some poise and turned the ball over a little bit. It was a big deficit, but I told the girls at halftime, no one expected you to be in this game, no one expects you to come back. And they surprised some people."

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