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PEARL RIVER, N.Y. — Most of what prevented Tappan Zee from seriously contending for a Section 1 championship last season was self-perception. The Dutchies felt they had the talent. There were just some mental aspects they realized they had to overcome.
“Rockland County basketball is huge, and you always hear about Albertus and Pearl River,” Tappan Zee senior Regina Argenzio said. “We’ve always been right up there. But there becomes a point where you have to put things in perspective and realize that teams just like us. We have to just come out and play our game. Nobody is untouchable.”
The only untouchable in Class A after Wednesday may be the Dutchies.
Tappan Zee solidified itself as Section 1’s top team in Class A with a 50-47 win at rival Pearl River, upping their record to 12-0. The Dutchies have beaten almost every Class A contender along the way — Albertus Magnus, Byram Hills, Peekskill and the previously-unbeaten Pirates.
Wednesday’s win was perhaps the most satisfying.
“In my freshman year, we won against them and that was the last time,” Argenzio said. “So winning today, this was huge.”
Argenzio played a big role in that. The point guard had a team-high 13 points with seven steals, seven rebounds and four assists.
Kristen McLaughlin had 11 points, four rebounds, three blocks and three steals, and Devona Paul had eight points and 11 rebounds.
Tappan Zee had an 10-point lead with two minutes to play but had to sweat it out until the buzzer. Christa Scognamiglio led Pearl River’s comeback, converting a three-point play, and then assisting on an Amanda DeCourcey basket on the next possession.
The Pirates 48-42 when Scognamiglio found her sister, Missy, who knocked down an open 3-pointer with 30 seconds left. Christa Scognamiglio later put in a lay-up with 13 seconds left to make it a one-point game.
After a couple of Tappan Zee free throws, Pearl River’s lost shot was a Missy Scognamiglio 3-point attempt at the buzzer that was just off.
While the Tappan Zee players admittedly held their breaths in the closing seconds, the exhale was celebration enough.
“It means that we are the team to beat,” Argenzio said. “This is something we’ve wanted to prove for a while. We’ve always been right up there. The fact that we’ve solidified these wins shows that we are on top.”
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