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Ossining Girls Basketball Team Heads To State Semifinals

Madison Strippoli of the Ossining Pride basketball team. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Jenna Lividini has enjoyed Ossining's run. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Junior Gabby Ferao said she appreciates the support of the fans. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

OSSINING, N.Y. -- The Ossining High School girls basketball team just keeps winning.

The girls defeated Horseheads High School 74-51 in the Section 1 Class AA regional final in Poughkeepsie on Friday. It was the fourth consecutive regional title for the Ossining girls. Shadeen Samuels led the girls with 26 points.

"She was outstanding," coach Dan Ricci said.

Ricci also praised Stephanie Svoboda who scored 17 of her 18 points in the 2nd half. Jenna Lividini had nine points while Abby Squirrell was a force on defense.

This week, the team heads to Troy where they will face Bethlehem on Friday at 8 p.m. If the girls win, they will face either Rush Henrietta or Commack on Saturday at 8:45 p.m.

Ossining is going for its third straight Class AA title.

"It's great to be back states for a fourth straight year," Ricci said. "It says so much about our program to be playing at this high a level for so long."

Ricci said his team knows they have a bulls-eye on their back.

"They use that as motivation to keep on winning," Ricci said. "We will need a total team effort to come out victorious [against Bethlehem.]

Senior Madison Strippoli said the team had a wake-up call after it struggled during the Section 1 Class AA Championships at the Westchester County Center.

"We know this isn't going to be easy," Strippoli said. "We've been pushing each other hard."

Having the support of the Ossining community means a lot to Strippoli. Ossining sent a fan bus to the game in Poughkeepsie and plans on sending another bus full of fans to Troy.

"It's an amazing experience," Strippoli said.

Lividini, a senior, said it has been amazing and awesome.

"It would be a letdown if we don't repeat," Lividini said. "Even though we won last year, we're still hungry. It's going to be fun."

Lividini said Ricci has the team well prepared for this weekend and they have been practicing hard. Lividini said she loves looking into the crowd and seeing Ossining colors.

"It's amazing to have all these fans come and cheer us on," Lividini said. "I love putting on my uniform and representing Ossining."

Gabby Ferrao said it feels great seeing fans travel to root on the Pride.

"It really pumps us up," Ferrao, a junior, said. 

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