Chong Leads Ossining into Section Semis

UConn recruit Saniya Chong leads the way for Ossining, the heavy favorite to win a third consecutive Section 1 Class AA championship.

Ossining stands two victories away from a third consecutive Section 1 Class AA girls basketball championship, a goal that almost seems a given for a team that has not lost to a Section 1 opponent in over two years.

The Pride enter Thursday's 4:45 p.m. semifinal game against No. 4 seed Ursulline (15-5) with a record of 16-4, with each defeat coming to a nationally ranked opponent outside New York. Even with those games, they average 83.7 points per game and give up only 30.5 per contest.

Senior guard Saniya Chong remains the dominant force for Ossining. The 5-foot-9 University of Connecticut recruit keeps adding to her all-time Section 1 scoring record, which currently stands at 2,761 points.

According to MaxPreps.com, she averages 35.1 points per game, with a good enough outside shot to make 77 three-point shots and the ability to attack the basket. She also takes great advantage of the fouls she draws, making 176 of 201 free throws (88 percent).

Chong makes an impact defensively as well with 2.1 blocked shots and 4.2 steals per game. She is second on the team in rebounding with 5.9 per contest.

She also has plenty of help from a supporting cast that is young, tall and athletic. Andra Espinoza-Hunter, a 5-10 eighth grader and dangerous outside shooter, scores 13.1 points per game. Jalay Knowles, a 6-0 sophomore, averages 12 points per contest and 5-11 freshman Shadeen Samuels leads the Pride with eight rebounds per game. 

Ossining Coach Dan Ricci claimed his 350th career victory with Ossining's 99-49 quarterfinal win against Scarsdale. 

With a victory over Ursuline Thursday, Ossining would advance to the championship game 2 p.m. Sunday at the County Center against either No. 2 Lourdes or No. 6 New Rochelle. 

Ryan Buncher February 27, 2013 at 09:12 PM
The Basketball Coaches Association of New York announced Thursday that Chong is one of five finalists for Miss New York Basketball 2013 along with Irvington's Lexi Martins, Alexandra Flint of Keshequa, Emia Willingham-Hurst of Albany and Cassidy Chapco of Hoosic Valley.


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