WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Arlington showed a dominant defense from the tipoff and built an early lead Monday en route to a 56-42 victory over the Kennedy Lady Gaels in the opening round of the Slam Dunk Girls Basketball Tournament at the Westchester County Center.
The Gaels (4-3) will meet Brewster, the loser to Pearl River in another opening-round-game, Tuesday at 2 p.m. Arlington advanced to the bracket championship game against Pearl River at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Kennedy trailed 19-6 after one quarter and was down by 14 points at halftime, but showed improvement on both ends of the floor in the second half, cutting the lead to eight points on two occasions before the Admirals closed them out.
Sara Dowds 3-pointer drew the Gaels to within 32-20 early in the second half and Dowd hit another big basket to cut another Arlington lead to 42-31 early in the fourth quarter.
Dowd, who led all Kennedy scorers with 17 points, said the Gaels worked harder to penetrate on the offensive end and were more aware on defense in the second half.
We came out more aggressively in the second half, Dowd said. Were gaining more confidence as we go. Defensively, we had to watch for back screens and on offense we tried to penetrate and finish out shots.
The Gaels got as close as 44-36 and 46-38 on three Leah Greene free throws with just under three minutes remaining in the game. Greene finished with 10 points.
Jocelyn Strack scored a team-high 17 points for Arlington.
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