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Saturday, December 20, 2014
Defense leads Baldwin past Freeport
Jeff Wilson/Herald
Baldwin's Aziah Hudson contribued nine points in Saturday's Nassau Class AA semifinal playoff win over Freeport at LIU Post.

The same formula that brought Baldwin three consecutive Nassau County Class AA girls’ basketball titles from 2010-12 has the Lady Bruins knocking on the door for a fourth championship in five seasons.

“It all starts with defense,” senior point guard Mariah Butler said after top-seeded Baldwin forced 30 turnovers and beat No. 4 Freeport, 55-38, in a Class AA semifinal game last Saturday night at LIU Post before a crowd of 1,500. “We bring a lot of defensive intensity, and it generates a lot of offense in transition,” she added. “Defense is what drives us.”

The Lady Bruins (14-1) scored the game’s first 12 points and kept their foot on the gas until head coach Tom Catapano lifted the starters with 4:08 remaining and the lead at 54-28. Junior Tiara Place paced a balanced scoring attack with 11 points. Sophomore Lames El Gammal had nine points and 10 rebounds, eighth-grader Aziah Hudson had nine points, Butler added eight, and senior Tyra Harrison chipped in seven points and five steals.

“Defense is our staple,” Catapano said. “We came out swarming and couldn’t have hoped for a better start. Offensively, we may not have a player who’s going to score 20 but we have many players that can score 10 or more on any given night.”

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