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Baldwin High School girls basketball team ready to complete some unfinished business at NYS Final Four

LI high school cheers on girls basketball team
LI high school cheers on girls basketball team 01:50

BALDWIN, N.Y. -- A Long Island high school is celebrating its girls varsity basketball team with big send-off as the team heads to the state final four.

CBS2 spoke to players and their coach on Thursday about their success.

The Baldwin High Lady Bruins are warming up for a big weekend ahead. They're headed to Albany with their eyes set on winning the New York Public High School Athletic Association championship.

"Our motto for this season is 'Winners win,'" sophomore Payton Dulin said. "We're so excited. Let's get our championship."

Last Saturday, the Lady Bruins of Section 8 won the Long Island Class AA championship, defeating Walt Whitman of Section 11, 39-32. Next up is the state semifinals against Section 5's Webster Schroeder on Friday at 6:15 p.m. at Hudson Valley Community College in Rensselaer County.

"Last year, we didn't really finish the way we wanted to, so going back up we're gonna keep that mindset," senior Katlyn Simpson said.

This is Baldwin's second straight trip to the state semifinals. The players attribute their success to, "My coach," Dulin said, adding, "He teaches us a lot of life lessons every day."

"I think the job of a high school coach really is to teach life lessons, you know, through the sport. We talk about it all the time -- work hard, put others before yourself, set high goals," coach Tom Catapano said.

High goals and hard work, indeed. The Lady Bruins practice three hours a day, six days a week.

"Basketball is our life, if I'm being honest. We talk about basketball every day, all day," senior Dally Moreno said. "Keep your head up, goals in your mind, and you can achieve anything."

To wish the Lady Bruins luck, proud parents showed up for the big send-off.

"A very humbling and it's a good experience for the young ladies to, basically, come together as a team and grow later on in life," Kurt Hardy said.

The team was celebrated with a clap-out at the high school. A grand procession led by the Baldwin Fire Department let the players and coaches know that the whole town is behind them.

If the Lady Bruins defeat Webster Schroeder (Rochester area), they will play the winner of the game between Section 3's Liverpool (Syracuse) and Section 1's White Plains on Saturday at 8:45 p.m., also at Hudson Valley Community College.

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