OSSINING — It was truly a historic day for Ossining senior Saniya Chong.
The guard poured in 40 points to surpass FDR/Hyde Park grad Karen O’Connor as the all-time leading scorer in the section. Prior to tonight, the record had stood since 1987.
Chong (pictured right) needed 38 points to tie the record entering Monday’s game against Blind Brook. The senior hit a 3-pointer to tie, break, and add to the record for her final bucket of the night. The Pride won 89-56.
Here is the new list of the top five all-time female scorers in Section 1 history:
1. Saniya Chong (2009-13), Ossining — 2,664*
2. Karen O’Connor (1983-87), FDR — 2,662
3. Sheila Wagner (1981-86), Peekskill — 2,476
4. Cusena Newton (1982-87), Hamilton — 2,384
5. Margo Hackett (2007-11), Pawling — 2,266
* — still active
As if breaking a 25-year-old record wasn’t impressive enough, Chong killed two birds with one stone, breaking the 12-year-old state record for 3-pointers in a career on the same shot.
Chong surpassed Bloomfield grad Heather Shepard to become the new Queen of the Arc. Shepard sank 277 shots from downtown during her career with Bloomfield from 1997-2001.
Chong entered the season with 212 career 3-pointers, including 100 in her junior year, which set a new state record. Here is her career breakdown from beyond the arc:
Freshman year (2009-10): 28
Sophomore year (2010-11): 84
Junior year (2011-12): 100 — New York State record
Senior year (2012-13): 66*
* — still active
So, breaking 25-year-old section record and a 12-year-old state record on the same shot, let alone the same game, that’s it, right?
No, Chong also grabbed her 500th career rebound in the win (needed three boards going into the game), only adding to her already impressive resume.
She already had more than 2,600 career points, 600 assists, and 400 steals going into the game, so reaching the 500-rebound milestone was just an added perk.
The hype for Chong and Ossining going into the season was through the roof, and with the schedule of opponents they put together, it’s safe to say that both have lived up to the expectations. However, the hype and excitement will only grow with the Section 1 tournament tipping off next week.
As the top-ranked Class AA team in the state, many are expecting Ossining to bring home a state title, so the section and regional tournaments are looking merely like a formality for the Pride. But as Ossining keeps its season alive, it gives Chong a chance to do even more damage to the state record books.
Last season, Chong scored 812 points, which was good enough for second on the single-season scoring list. Granted, record holder Caryn Schoff of St. Johnsonville had 80 points on her for the top spot, but it was still impressive nonetheless.
In fact, Chong also has the No. 4 spot on the single-season scoring list from her sophomore season (799 points). If and when Chong cracks the 800-point mark for this season again (currently at 604 this year), she will join Schoff (pictured below) as the only women on the list with three seasons in the top 10. Chong will be the only player with three seasons in the top five.
For the single-season state scoring record:
Chong would need to average exactly 36 points per game for the next eight games, which will likely be the state championship game, to tie the record. Chong is currently averaging 35.5 points per game in mostly limited time (usually sits the fourth quarter), because Ossining is often up by a ton of points. With the better competition on the horizon, and the possible awareness of what Chong can accomplish this year, Pride coach Dan Ricci is bound to loosen the reigns on Chong, especially when it comes time for regional and state play.
Schoff is also the record holder for career points, scoring 3,550 points for St. Johnsonville from 1989-95. Chong has no shot at that, but then again, Schoff played six years to Chong’s four… big difference.
Schoff went on to play an injury-rittled career at Syracuse following her high school tenure, and her final game was the biggest Big East loss in conference history at the time. The ‘Cuse lost 106-43 to UConn, the same school Chong will attend next year.
The bright side is that Chong has a very good chance at joining the 3,000-point club, which only two girls in the state have ever achieved. Chong would need to average 42 points per game over the next eight games to reach that plateau. Again, should Ossining win the state title and move onto the Federation tournament, she will have more games, but this is assuming the Pride only get to the state final.
There’s other single-game scoring marks that Chong could possibly break this year, but these are the big one’s coming up. We will be sure to keep you posted as we learn more!
(Schoff photo credit: Syracuse University athletics)