OSSINING, N.Y. -- Fresh off their second straight state championship, the Ossining High School varsity girls basketball team has one more hill to climb.
Ossining, which easily won the state title on Saturday, March 15 will be in the New York State Federation Tournament this weekend at the Times Union Center in Albany.
The girls face St. Anthony's at 3:15 p.m Friday, March 14 and, if they win, face the winner of LI Lutheran-Francis Lewis on Saturday, March 15 at 6:45 p.m.
Before heading to Albany, the team received a big honor as the Ossining Village Board proclaimed Thursday, March 20 Ossining Girls Basketball Day.
The team romped to their second straight title, defeating Cicero-North Syracuse 74-59 at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy to advance to the Federation Tournament.
"It was a huge win for our team," coach Dan Ricci said. "We're a really young team. We have no seniors. Our confidence is growing."
Ricci said the road to the championship will be tough, since the Pride is a public school competing against schools that recruit. But win or lose, Ricci said he is proud of his team and what it accomplished.
"I'm extremely happy," Ricci said. "This is big for Ossining."
The girls received a boost last weekend when Saniya Chong, an Ossining graduate who plays for UConn visited with the team before the game.
"She's still a big part of the program," Ricci said.
Jenna Lividini, a junior guard, said it meant the world to her to repeat as state champs.
"It's an amazing feeling," Lividini said. "It's a huge accomplishment for the entire team. It's indescribable."
Lividini said the final minutes of the game were torture and she was itching to go on the court and celebrate with her teammates.
Lividini said to beat St. Anthony's they need to get in front and ensure they don't get easy layups.
"Nothing in the paint," Lividini said. "They are a quick team."
Cyan Scarduzio, a junior guard/forward, said the team was determined to prove their doubters wrong. At the end of the game, she said she was anxious to celebrate.
"We're all excited," Scarduzio said. "It's a really cool feeling. But we knew it wasn't over and we had to get to work."
Shadeen Samuels, a sophomore guard/forward, said it was better the second time around.
"We worked harder as a team this year," Samuels said.