WHITE PLAINS – Years, possibly decades from now, fans who attended Monday’s Section 1 Class B girls basketball final between Irvington and Woodlands won’t remember the 13-point halftime comeback, or the final score.
What they’ll remember is one of the greatest head-to-head individual performances ever to take place on the Westchester County Center floor: Irvington junior Lindsay Halpin vs. Woodlands freshman Teisha Hyman.
The stalwarts of their respective rosters each put on an MVP-worthy performance — Halpin exploding for 45 points, Hyman hitting for 42 — but it was Halpin and the Bulldogs who emerged with a 77-68 victory and a second consecutive gold ball.
Even after earning a second straight MVP award to add to her hardware collection back home, Halpin remained one of the section’s most humble players around. “She’s an amazing player,” Halpin said of Hyman. “She hit some, I hit some, and my teammates just happened to hit the other ones.”
Irvington’s only loss of the season came at the hands of the Falcons, and it was a blessing in disguise for the Bulldogs, according to head coach Gina Maher.
“The best thing that happened to us was losing to Woodlands,” she said. “We learned from that, and we didn’t fall apart at halftime.”
“At one point at halftime, I told them that there were going to be a lot of things in life that they were going to face that would be a lot harder than a basketball game — that they were going to need to have strength to face those things in life, whether it be a sick child, a war, or disease, or something like that.
“This is a game, so just fight as hard as you can, because you can win this,” she added.
The section has long been aware of Hyman’s playing prowess. Despite her freshman status, the 5-foot-9 shooting guard is a three-year varsity veteran and 1,000-point scorer with at least two offers to play Division I basketball.
Hyman’s all-tournament status honored her accomplishments, but did not nearly do it the justice worthy of her performance. Teammate Jasmine Michaux joined Hyman on the all-tournament twam, along with Valhalla sophomore Sam Morillo, Putnam Valley senior Reena Olsen, and Irvington senior Lindsay Chafizadeh.
Irvington will take on Section 9 champion Marlboro in the Class B state regional final Wednesday back at the County Center at 6:15 p.m.