Scognamiglio shoots Pearl River past Arlington
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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Pearl River star Christa Scognamiglio only scored five points in a win over Brewster in the semifinals of the Slam Dunk Tournament on Monday. She was under the weather with an illness, but her teammates picked her up.
Scognamiglio more than made up for it the following day.
The senior scored a game-high 25 points and led her team to a 51-39 win over Arlington in the championship game of the Slam Dunk Tournament on Tuesday at the Westchester County Center. She was named tournament MVP.
“She came out like gangbusters today,” said Pearl River coach Lorraine Moylan, who earned her 500th career win against Brewster on Monday. “She struggled yesterday, she was a little sick. Today she came out like she should.”
At the beginning of the game, Scognamiglio buried two quick 3-pointers before the Admirals knew what hit them.
“I got hot early so that definitely helped,” said Scognamiglio, who made six 3-pointers, grabbed six rebounds and swiped five steals. “Our movement down the court on offense helped me get open shots.”
Pearl River, which improved to 5-0, had a huge second quarter where it outscored Arlington 22-5 to take a 31-17 lead into halftime. Senior guard Allison Cook, who finished with 12 points and four steals, nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give them a boost heading into the half.
“We’ve been here so many times that we realized even though it’s just a regular tournament we didn’t want to lose like we have in the past (at the County Center),” Scognamiglio said. “So we came out extra hard in the second quarter and we really stuck it to them.”
The Pirates were outstanding from beyond the arc, going 10-for-21 as a team. Scognamiglio went 6-for-10 from 3-point range. Cook added three 3s.
“We have a lot of 3-point shooters and a lot of girls that can shoot in general,” Scognamiglio said. “When someone is off, someone else is on. We all work very well together.”
The previously unbeaten Admirals (7-1) held a 12-9 lead after the first quarter, but struggled to finish under the hoop after that.
Arlington closed the deficit to 41-32 after three quarters on a buzzer beating 3-pointer by freshman Jancy Sherwood (eight points). But two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter by Scognamiglio doused any hopes Arlington had for a comeback.
“We just kept plugging away,” Moylan said. “I think [Arlington’s] a very good team – they’re a big AA school.”
Pearl River also received contributions from junior Missy Scognamiglio, who had five points, seven rebounds and five steals. Amanda De Courcey added four points and pulled down nine rebounds.
“Missy and Amanda De Courcey did a great job today,” Moylan said. “Christy Carty (seven rebounds) didn’t score much, but she defended well in the post. People did their jobs. We had nice input from players coming off the bench.”
Arlington was paced by junior Jocelyn Strack, who had nine points, 14 rebounds and three steals. Junior Sarah Kaminsky (seven points), senior Nicole Spaulding (five points, nine rebounds) and junior Jackie Rywalt (five points, seven rebounds) all chipped in for the Admirals.
Pearl River, which fell to Peekskill in the Section 1 Class A final last season, will look to build off of this win.
“We know Arlington is a good team,” Christa Scognamiglio said. “So coming out and beating them at the County Center is a great feeling. We want to get back here at the end of winter.”
Follow Rob DiAntonio on Twitter @MSGV_RJD