Final 8: Class AA girls basketball
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Section 1 Tournament
Class AA Quarterfinals
No. 9 Greeley at No. 1 Ossining, 4:30 p.m.
No. 12 Ursuline at No. 4 John Jay-EF, 6 p.n,
No. 11 New Rochelle at No. 3 Lourdes, TBA
No. 10 Carmel at No. 2 Arlington, TBA
No. 1 Ossining
Coach: Dan Ricci Nickname: Pride
Quarterfinal opponent: No. 9 Horace Greeley
Record: 19-0 Last year: Section 1 Class AA champions; lost to Binghamton in regional final
Best wins: Irvington, Pearl River, Archbishop Molloy, Northern Highlands, Hamilton
Top players: Saniya Chong (5-9, Jr., PG); Destini Walker (5-10, Fr., F/G); Jalay Knowles (6-0, Fr., C); Danielle Gervacio (5-4, Jr., G)
Scouting report: The battle-tested defending champions are a heavy favorite to repeat with the area’s best player, Saniya Chong, leading the way. Heading into the playoffs, Chong is averaging 35.3 points, 9.2 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 5.4 steals. On her way to leading the Pride to a probable second-straight title, she should eclipse 2,000 career points. Her supporting cast is greatly improved this season and there’s no reason the Pride can’t make a run to the state final four.
No. 2 Arlington
Coach: Kim Costello Nickname: Admirals
Quarterfinal opponent: No. 10 Carmel
Record: 17-2 Last year: Lost to New Rochelle in first round
Best wins: Our Lady of Lourdes (twice), John Jay-East Fishkill, Monroe-Woodbury, Carmel
Top players: Jocelyn Strack (5-8, Jr., F); Sarah Kaminsky (5-7, Jr. G); Nicole Spaulding (6-0, Sr., C); Jackie Rywalt (5-6, Jr., G)
Scouting report: Arlington has emerged as perhaps the top challenger to Ossining from the trio or strong Dutchess teams. Jocelyn Strack is a presence in the paint, while guards Sarah Kaminsky and Jackie Rywalt can fill it up from the perimeter.
No. 3 Our Lady of Lourdes
Coach: Al Viani Nickname: Warriors
Quarterfinal opponent: No. 11 New Rochelle
Record: 16-3 Last year: Lost to Carmel in first round
Best wins: John Jay-East Fishkill (twice)
Top players: Paige Decker (So., G); Emily Ferreri (Fr., G/F); Kelly Kubala (Jr., G)
Scouting report: The Warriors are a young squad without much playoff experience but they’ve had an impressive season. Our Lady of Lourdes has a tradition of success and it looks like this group is getting the Warriors back to prominence. Paige Decker is a potent scorer and carries the Warriors offensively, but they’ll need others to step up to make a big run.
No. 4 John Jay-East Fishkill
Coach: Larry Brooks Nickname: Patriots
Quarterfinal opponent: No. 12 Ursuline
Record: 15-4 Last year: Lost to Ossining in quarterfinals
Best wins: Arlington, Carmel, Kennedy Catholic
Top players: Brittney Gullo (Sr., F); Calli Balfour (Sr., F); Brittany Gregory (Sr., G)
Scouting report: The Patriots possess a strong front line that will present opposing squads with match up problems. Brittney Gullo is a flat-out scorer, while Calli Balfour is an athletic presence inside.
No. 9 Horace Greeley
Coach: John Alkalay Nickname: Quakers
Quarterfinal opponent: No. 1 Ossining
Record: 13-6 Last year: Lost to Ursuline in quarterfinals
Best wins: North Rockland, Rye, John Jay-CR, Blind Brook
Top players: Jackie Brett (Jr., PG); Lindsay Hill (Jr., F); Issy Berkey (Sr., F)
Scouting report: Greeley scored a comeback win over North Rockland in the opening round to land a date with defending champ Ossining. They lost to the Pride by 30 points during the regular season, so the road likely ends here. But this squad will be in the mix next year with two of their best players coming back in juniors Jackie Brett and Lindsay Hill.
No. 10 Carmel
Coach: Dan O’Hare Nickname: Rams
Quarterfinal opponent: No. 2 Arlington
Record: 14-5 Last year: Lost to Mount Vernon in quarterfinals
Best wins: Clarkstown South, Ursuline, Knott County Central, Athens Top players: Sabrina Diaz (Sr., PG), Alyssa D’Apice (Sr., G); Nicole Oliver (Sr., F)
Scouting report: The senior trio of Sabrina Diaz, Alyssa D’Apice and Nicole Oliver are very experienced. This team has the firepower to upset anyone with Diaz (11.8 ppg) and D’Apice (11 ppg) leading the team in scoring. The Rams suffered a seven-point loss to Arlington in December.
No. 11 New Rochelle
Coach: Bruce Daniele Nickname: Huguenots
Quarterfinal opponent: No. 3 Our Lady of Lourdes
Record: 12-7 Last year: Lost to Ossining in the semifinals
Best wins: White Plains (twice), Carmel, Ursuline
Top players: Aaliyah Hayes (Jr., F); Ammiror Dixon (So., G); Mary Miceli (Sr., G/F) Scouting report: The explosive Huguenots always seem to have a low seed and make a run in the playoffs. Last year they were the No. 18 seed and went all the way to the Section 1 semifinals before losing to eventual champion Ossining. This team is very tested on the road after only playing six home games during the regular season.
No. 12 Ursuline
Coach: Beth Wooters Nickname: Koalas
Quarterfinal opponent: No. 4 John Jay-East Fishkill
Record: 11-8 Last year: Lost to Mount Vernon in the semifinals
Best wins: Mount Vernon (twice), New Rochelle, White Plains
Top players: Arianna Apostolopolous (Sr., PG); Alyssa Lawrence (Sr., F)
Scouting report: While their record doesn’t show it, this is a dangerous Ursuline squad. They upset County Center regular Mount Vernon in the opening round. Arianna Apostolopous may fly under the radar, but she’s one of top point guards in the area.