More info to follow, including advancement info for the first round of regional play this week.
Class A: No. 11 Peekskill 55, No. 4 Albertus Magnus 48
By Mike Zacchio
WHITE PLAINS — Peekskill, the 11th seed, became the first girls outbracket team to capture a Section 1 basketball title after it defeated No. 4 Albertus Magnus 55-48 in the Class A final at the Westchester County Center Sunday.
“It definitely feels good, and I’m glad that their names will forever be remembered,” Peekskill coach Rodney Headley Jr. said. “Any other team that comes from the outbracket that ever (wins a championship) again will be the people who are compared to us.”
Headley Jr. is no stranger to making history at Peekskill. He was at the helm of the Red Devils team that captured the first state title in program history in 2011.
“It’s good to keep going,” said the fourth-year coach.
It wasn’t all grins for the Red Devils as freshman Lanay Rodney entered the locker room at halftime in agonizing pain. She had no first-half points but plenty of tears streaming down her face.
After a pep talk from Headley Jr. and her teammates, the inspired the guard not only played the second half, she took it over.
Rodney, who was making her County Center debut, scored a game-high 18 points, grabbed six rebounds and was named MVP of the Class A tournament.
“My stomach was hurting (at halftime), so my teammates just kept pushing me,” she said. “I just had to keep playing through the pain.”
Rodney was just one of several youngsters to steal the show Sunday afternoon for the Red Devils (14-9), who haven’t got a single senior on their roster.
Eighth-grader Nyrie Holliman added 14 points off the bench, which was one of the key differences in the game. Peekskill’s bench outscored the Falcons’ bench, 21-1.
“I feel so amazing, we just won a gold ball,” said Holliman, who wasn’t nervous playing for the first time under the bright lights of the County Center. “I had faith in my team. I just knew that if we could play as a team and play hard, I knew we were going to win.”
The Red Devils upset an Albertus team that was coming off a thrilling double-overtime win against top-seeded Pearl River.
Sharp-shooting sophomore Madison McGrath led the Falcons (14-8) with 18 points. Junior point guard Ryan Doherty added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Manhattan-bound senior Maeve Parahus ended her high school tenure with 14 points, passing Nyack graduate Dawn Royster for 21st on the all-time Rockland County scoring list with 1,220 points.
Peekskill will play Walkill (Section 9) in the state regional semifinal on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh.
Class AA: No. 1 Ossining 83, No. 2 Lourdes 51
By Phil Terrigno
WHITE PLAINS — At this point, Saniya Chong is simply spoiling Section 1 basketball fans.
Not only did top-seeded Ossining top No. 2 Lourdes 83-51 in the Class AA final, but the Westchester County Center crowd witnessed a transcendent performance from the UConn-bound senior.
Chong poured in 39 points, and had 11 steals, six rebounds and five assists and now sits in sixth place on New York State’s girls basketball career scoring list with 2,829 points.
“(Chong) is at the point right now, kind of like (Connecticut’s) Breanna Stewart was last year, where she knows she’s the best player in New York,” Ossining coach Dan Ricci said. “She’s putting her team on her back and saying, ‘we’re winning.’ ”
Stewart, who is currently at UConn, led Cicero-North Syracuse to the state title last season, knocking off Ossining in the state semifinals.
Ossining (18-4) advanced to the state regional semifinal and will face Section 4 champion Horseheads 6 p.m. Tuesday at the College of New Rochelle.
“Our expectation is winning the state championship but I think that we took it slow and one step at a time,” Chong said.
The championship is the Pride’s third in a row and eighth title game appearance since 2003.
“There’s no words to say it,” Chong said. “I’ve had an amazing four years here and coming out with the gold ball three times in a row is a fantastic feeling.”
Lourdes (19-3) opened with an ambitious defensive effort that pressured the Pride into settling for tough shots. The Warriors led 10-6 with 3:47 left in the first quarter.
“We didn’t really think about (the deficit), we weren’t looking at the score when we were down,” Chong said. “We just pick up each other and say, ‘let’s go.’ ”
Buckets from Danielle Gervacio and Shadeen Samuels sparked Ossining as it closed the quarter with 22-4 run capped by Chong’s buzzer-beater from half court.
“When we get on one run, we try and push it as much as we can,” Gervacio said. “We all know our roles and what we have to do.”
Samuels finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds and Gervacio added 10 points as Ossining continued to build on its lead.
Sophomore center Jalay Knowles, who has been battling an ankle injury, dressed but did not play in either of Ossining’s County Center games.
“We’re doing this without Destini Walker, who moved away, our second-best player last year,” Ricci said. “And Jalay Knowles stepped in as a second-best player.”
Nora McElduff finished with 14 points and Mary Riley added 12 points for Lourdes, which won Class B titles from 1997-2003 and Class A championships from 2004-2006.
Photos by Seth Harrison/The Journal News