WHITE PLAINS — Last year, it was New Rochelle senior Khalil Edney who stole the show at the Westchester County Center with his 55-foot game-winning buzzer-beater with 2.9 seconds left in the Class AA section final.
This year, it was nearly a New Rochelle freshman who emulated the now-infamous shot.
Nicole Ziogas was mere inches away from sinking a game-winning 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds left against Peekskill in the first semifinal of the Slam Dunk Tournament on Thursday. Ziogas’ shot hit off the front of the rim to end the Huguenots’ 62-61 loss to the Red Devils.
“I’m thinking, ‘With 0.9 seconds left, how did the clock take so long?’” Peekskill coach Rodney Headley Jr. joked after the win. “But at the same time, (New Rochelle) did what they needed to do to get that last shot off. I’m just glad it didn’t go in; very simple.”
Sophomore Lanay Rodney (pictured right, 1) scored a game-high 28 points to go with five rebounds and five assists for the Red Devils. Teammate Shaina Iton added eight points and 15 rebounds.
New Rochelle junior Asjha White-Silas (pictured below, 33) recorded the only double-double during the three girls games that took place, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
Peekskill took full advantage of New Rochelle’s struggles in the first half on Thursday, carrying a seven-point lead into the break after the Huguenots turned the ball over 20 times. When the Red Devils starting slipping, Headley did his best to nip it in the bud.
“I told them, ‘We have to be conservative,’” Headley said. “(New Rochelle) has played us numerous times over the years, so you expect nothing less — a big game from a team that’s like a sister team.
“A big game, the team that came out on top, deserved it,” he added.
All photos were taken by Frank Becerra Jr. of The Journal News. Click here to view Frank’s entire photo gallery. Here’s my video recap of the game, including the final shot: