Follow the Section 1 tournament on Twitter: @MSGVarsityKDJ
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Saniya Chong has built a reputation for being an unassuming superstar. The Ossining junior is admittedly shy, displays incredibly humility, and hates talking about her personal accomplishments.
But her flair for the dramatic, no matter how unintentional, is becoming her trademark.
Chong not only lifted her team to a second straight Section 1 Class AA championship on Sunday at the Westchester County Center — a thorough 79-48 victory over No. 3 Lourdes — but scored the 2,000th career point of her three-year varsity career.
And Chong did it in style, converting a four-point play in the third quarter, before exiting with 31 points in an MVP effort.
“That’s what I was going for,” Chong said with a smile of the four-point play. “I knew I was getting close and I wanted to get some shots up and get it today.”
The County Center had gone quiet in the third quarter as Ossining opened up a 30-point lead in the opening minutes.
It was 61-25 when Chong got the ball and cross halfcourt. With a Lourdes defender tight on her, she pulled up for an NBA-range 3-pointer. As the whistle blew for a foul, the ball swished through the net.
Chong’s ensuing free throw, which rattled around the rim before falling in, was her 2,000th point.
The crowd erupted and play was stopped as Chong was presented with an autograph basketball. She was presented with the actual game ball after the final buzzer, moments before receiving her second straight MVP trophy.
She's third all-time in scoring in Section 1 history, trailing Karen O'Connor, a 1987 FDR-Hyde Park (2,662) and Sheila Wagner, a 1986 grad of Peekskill (2,476). O'Connor, who's eighth-all-time in New York State history, played at FDR before it moved from Section 1 to Section 9. Caryn Schoff holds the state mark at 3,548 points.
Chong’s 31 points came on 10 of 22 shooting and went along with eight assists, five rebounds and two steals.
Destini Walker added 17 points and 15 rebounds, as Ossining outrebounded Lourdes 47-28 and had 11 3-pointers.
Emily Ferreri led Lourdes with 18 points, five rebounds and five assists to earn all-tournament honors.
Ossining advanced to the Class AA state regional final on Friday at Pace University against either Valley Central and Binghamton.
Email Kevin Devaney Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org