Last Thursday, the girls’ basketball team cruised past Avenues, 49-25, to claim the first PSAA tournament title in team history. Newsday‘s Owen O’Brien was on hand to cover the game.
Niamh Scanlon Proud Her Work Paid Off After Stony Brook’s PSAA Title
Niamh Scanlon has seen the highs and lows of the Stony Brook girls’ basketball program. The six-year varsity player debuted for Stony Brook as a seventh grader, and she admits there were times it seemed like the program wouldn’t be capable of much winning.
But on Thursday, Scanlon saw the hard work put in by her teammates and coaches pay off as Stony Brook defeated Avenues, 49-25, at Island Garden in West Hempstead to win the first PSAA championship in program history.
“We’ve been trying to get other girls to come here and play,” Scanlon said. “I don’t think I really could have seen this happening then. But it means a lot to us to kind of re-establish the name for what Stony Brook varsity basketball means to other schools.”
Scanlon, who was named championship game MVP, had six points, nine rebounds, and seven steals. Ava McCormick added 13 points and 16 rebounds, and Jocelyn McCrain had 15 points and five assists in the final.
Marc Riley, in his first season as the coach, said he knew a few players on the team before the season but wasn’t totally sure what to expect.
“It still was a little up in the air,” Riley said. “I didn’t know what direction we’d be going with them not having experience with me. It was more of an experiment early in the season, and by the third, fourth game, we started clicking a little bit.”
Stony Brook (17-4) advances to play in the NYSAIS state tournament on Wednesday.
“It’s pretty crazy to think we are actually going into states,” Scanlon said. “We always talk about how after playoffs there’s states, but we’ve always brushed it off. But now that we’re actually going into it, it’s totally different.”
Scanlon also reached some personal milestones this winter. She scored her 1,000th point in a 44-point effort on Feb. 6, which set a school record for points in a game.
“It kind of felt like a fever dream,” Scanlon said. “I didn’t think I was going to get it. It felt like something that was so unreachable, but once I got it, it was a shocking moment to realize I could actually do it.”