Pearl River Head Coach Lorraine Moylan met her players one by one as they walked down the stairs from Locker Room C in the Westchester County Center Thursday night.
The seniors were last as their high school careers ended with Pearl River's double overtime 59-56 loss to Albertus Magnus in the Section 1 Class A girls basketball semifinals.
Senior Missy Scognamiglio, who suffered a sprained ankle in the first quarter that hampered her play the rest of the night, managed to focus on the positive. The Pirates went 18-3 and earned a return to the County Center though she was the only returning starter from last year's championship team.
"(At the end of) last year, nobody thought we'd get this far," Scognamiglio said. "Nobody thought we'd be a contender. To make it all the way to the County Center and to play in front of this big crowd was really special."
Pearl River had beaten Albertus Magnus twice during the regular season, but in the end, Scognamiglio's injury and senior Amanda DeCourcey's foul trouble were too much to overcome. The Pirates were unable to get generate the easy scoring chances their defense normally provides, leading to offensive struggles all through the contest.
"Give a lot of credit to Pearl River," Albertus Magnus Head Coach Pat Buckley said. "Missy sprained her ankle early in the game. It just showed how tough she is. She's like her coach. They are a tough bunch of kids,
"We tried to keep it current. It's about today, not the past. They are a great program. (Lorraine Moylan) is a great coach. I have such respect for them. You feel for their coach and you feel for their seniors. I don't know if anyone deserved to lose that game."
Pearl River once again will take heavy losses to graduation beyond senior co-captains Scognamiglio and DeCourcey, who won championships together in girls soccer as well as basketball. Meaghan DiGiovanni started much of the season and Jess Dolan emerged as a key contributor off the bench. She scored 10 points Thursday.
Junior Sam Alicandri and guard Jenna Scanlon will both return from the five guard starting lineup Moylan used most of the season. Sophomore forward Emma Daly started early in the season and showed signs for offensive potential.
Junior Jessica Neugebauer and freshman Lauren Gallagher all saw significant minutes off the bench and should move into larger roles. Moylan used her bench liberally this season, so most of the reserves gained valuable experience.