Pearl River senior Christa Scognamiglio earned all-state honors in girls basketball her sophomore and junior seasons.
Though she averaged 16.7 points per game while leading Pearl River to the Section 1 Class A championship and the state final four as a senior, she admits to not even being sure she would make first-team all-state again.
"I just didn't know if I would get it or not," Scognamiglio said. "There are so many great players out there."
Scognamiglio wasn't just named all-state; the New York State Sportswriter's Association named her the state's player of the year in Class A.
"I was really shocked," Scognamiglio said. "I didn't think I would get that. I was proud of myself."
"It's so well deserved," Pearl River Head Coach Lorraine Moylan said. "She did so many different things for us this year. It is nice to see people get recognition not only for their hard work, but for their determination. And to have it go to such a classy kid."
Scognamiglio also started for a section championship team as an eighth grader at Pearl River. She, Kerry Sullivan and Nicole Grossbard were all on the team together for five years and the Pirates won 92 games in that time.
Along the way, the 5-foot-9 Scognamiglio made her mark with her versatility as well as her ability to score, playing every position from point guard to center offensively and defensively.
"Sometimes it was scoring. Sometimes it was on the defensive end," Moylan said. "Most games she had to defend bigs, so she was not always able to do all the things she would like to do.
"She did whatever we needed her to do without any kind of questions. She knew what she needed to do to help us win."
Scognamiglio signed with Division I Fairfield before the season started and became Pearl River's all-time leading scorer Jan. 28 at home against Burke Catholic. She finished her career with 1,685 points. But the section championship was always the primary goal.
"It was definitely a season I'll never forget, the best one of my career," Scognamiglio said. "I loved every minute of it, especially winning sections and going to states. It was so awesome."
One moment in particular near the end of Pearl River's 39-33 victory over Tappan Zee in the championship game stood out. In the final moments of the game, the fans started cheering for Scognamiglio's 15-year-old brother Thomas, who is recovering from a cancerous bone tumor.
"The greatest moment was the sectional championship game," Scognamiglio said. "That whole atmosphere, especially against TZ.
"The final minute, they chanted his name. He was on the top part of the seats. He stood up and they all cheered for him. I shouldn't have been listening, but I heard it while I was playing. It was really a great feeling."
Moylan said Scognamiglio helped the Pirates get there not only with her skills, but also with her leadership and ability to come through when the team needed her most.
"She knew when she needed to take control," Moylan said. "Along with the other seniors, the leadership was so much stronger, so much more determined. That's the biggest thing. She was more determined than ever."
Scognamiglio's teammate, senior guard Allison Cook, was named ninth-team all-state in Class A.
Albertus Magnus had two players earn all-state honors, with junior center Maeve Parahas on the fifth team and sophomore guard Kelly Guarino on the eighth team.
Tappan Zee point guard Regina Argenzio earned seventh-team all-state honors.