20-in-'12: Irvington girls basketball
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Coach: Gina Maher (38th season)
Last year’s record: 26-2; Class B state champions
Record so far: 9-0
Impact players: Lexi Martins, Jr., F; Marley Giddins, Sr., G/F; Brittni Lai, Jr., PG; Ryan McMahon, Jr., G.
Rising stars: Alyssa Di Campli, Jr., F
1/15 – vs. Ossining – The Game of the Year in Section 1 should attract basketball fans from all over. Irvington is the two-time Class B state champs. Ossining the reigning Class AA champs in Section 1.
2/2 – at Woodlands – Who is going to step up in Class B and contend with Irvington? Woodlands is a candidate after returning a core of players that reached the sectional semifinals last season.
Pressure to Three-Peat
There may be no bigger favorite to win a Section 1 championship — boys or girls basketball, or really in any sport this entire school year — than the Irvington girls. The Bulldogs return four starters from last year’s state championship squad, including three Division I-caliber players in Martins, Lai and Giddins.
Giddins, the only senior starter, is a four-year vet who started as a sophomore on the Irvington squad that captured the Class B Federation crown. She’s committed to play at Amherst, the reigning Division III National Champs and No. 1 ranked team this season.
Another Gold Ball seems inevitable for the Bulldogs. But can they make another run to Troy for the state final four?
Much will hinge on the development of McMahon, a returning starter and 3-point specialist, and Di Campli, a 5-foot-10 forward who’s improved dramatically through the first eight game.
Irvington came within eight minutes of a second straight Federation crown but lost a 20-point lead to Long Island Lutheran in the title game in Albany. Both teams are aiming to meet there again in March.
It’s unknown which Section 1 team in Class B will emerge as the No. 1 contender, although Woodlands is a sleeper. Highland in Section 9, Long Island power Center Moriches and upstate powerhouse Watervliet all figure to pose challenges should Irvington advance.
The Bulldogs won’t overlook anyone until then, however. If they do find a way to win a third-straight state title, they could cement themselves as one of the greatest dynasties in the history in Westchester basketball.
Email Kevin Devaney Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org