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Katie Doherty from Sachem East

The last name Doherty is a bell-ringer when you’re talking Sachem East High School’s girls basketball. But with erstwhile stars Kristen and Meagan Doherty playing in college, combo guard Katie Doherty has large shoes to fill. A Long Island Class AA Championship (and chance to vie for a state title) isn’t too shabby a start, but the junior floor general’s primary goal is winning, not accolades.

“I’m at a loss for words,” said Doherty after leading Sachem to their first L.I. title since 2010. “But this isn’t about it being my team; we needed every girl on our team to win this [title].”

Make no mistake, though – Doherty is Sachem’s leader, and leaders step up in big games. The junior pierced a resilient Massapequa team with her outside shooting and deferred to her leadership skills when the defense came looking for her.

“Katie is the type of player you can build a team around,” said Sachem East Head Coach Matt Brisson. “She’s a special kid, and special kids rise in big moments.”

And Doherty has had plenty of big moments this season, including a 24-point explosion to knock off a competitive North Babylon unit. Colleges have taken note as well, with both local Division I schools (Hofstra, Stony Brook) and more distant ones (Quinnipiac, Rider, Lafayette, Iona) making offers.  But she’s not the type to rest on her laurels – Sachem East is still alive in their quest for wins upstate and a long summer lies ahead. The upcoming AAU season and training months will be key in furthering Doherty’s development and expanding her college suitors.

“I will be working with [trainer] Ralph Rosetti from Northport,” she divulged. “Ralph has taught me a lot and helped me develop my game.”

Doherty understands the key role defense plays in successful programs and the championships that come with them, as well as the emphasis on defense needed to make an impact on the college level – she’s made a commitment to focus hard on locking down.

“[Sachem Assistant] Coach [Brent] Lawrence, too,” she added. “He’s really helped me work on my defense, moving around and helping [my teammates] out defensively. Defense wins games.”

And as for AAU, Doherty will join Sachem teammate and fellow junior, Kathleen Everson, with LuHi Head Coach Richie Slater’s Long Island Lightning squad.

With tradition, titles and work ethic all on her side, look for Doherty to continue making waves this summer and into her senior campaign.

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