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Briarcliff Basketball Coaches Reunite with Ricci

BRIARCLIFF, N.Y. -- Prior to the Ossining-Briarcliff girls’basketball game Wednesday, Briarcliff coaches Kristi Dini and Danielle Hood welcomed their counterpart with open arms.Ossining coach Dan Ricci received a warm welcome from the first-year Briarcliff coaches. After all, Dini, a Putnam Valley graduate, and Hood, a Walter Panas alumnus, spent many a summer playing for Ricci on the Hudson Valley scholastic women’s basketball team and later the open team. Dini and Hood won gold medals playing for Ricci.“He was one of the best coaches I ever had,” said Dini, the head coach, who last won a gold medal as a member of the Hudson Valley open women’s team in 2006. Ricci was an assistant coach on the team. “He’s still as enthusiastic about the game as I remember him.”Even though Ossining and Ricci came away with a 79-53 victory, Ricci was more than happy to continue talking to Dini and Hood.Ricci has remained friends with Dini and Hood, who played collegiate at Boston University and Hartford, respectively.“Kristi and Danielle are doing a great job,” Ricci said. “Briarcliff has two of the best coaches. These two girls played big-time Division I basketball and then professionally.I am so proud of both of them. They are both back now and coaching which is great for Section 1 girl’s basketball. They did their homework and had their girls prepared today.”Dini knew it was a going to be a tough game for her young team, but Briarcliff accepted the challenge and was only down seven after one quarter. Saniya Chong took over in the second quarter, scoring 18 of her game-high 38 points.“He has a phenomenal team,” said Dini of Ricci. “They are one of the top five teams in the state. Playing against them is an experience we can get better from.We came in and wanted the girls to play hard and not play scared and we competed.”Ossining 21 24 19 15 -- 79Briarcliff 14 15 11 13 -- 53

Ossining (79) -- Jalay Knowles 2-0-4, Alexis Cristello 3-1-7, Andra Espinoza -Hunter 2-2-7, Destini Walker 5-0-10, Saniya Chong 13-10-38, Danielle Gervacio 4-0-9, Melanie Silverstein 0-0-0, Danielle Ferrao 1-0-2, Valerie Andujar 0-0-0, Lydia Davis 0-0-0, Maria Estupinan 1-0-2. Totals: 31-13-79.Briarcliff (53) -- Kelsey Simpson 1-1-3, Grace Orr 0-2-2, Cassidy Carrafiello 0-6-6, Marissa Contento 1-0-2, Brianna Celaj 9-8-27, Summer Horowitz 2-3-7, Haley Simpson 2-0-4, Kathryn Bailey 0-2-2. Totals: 15-22-53.3-point goals -- O: Chong 2, Gervacio, Espinoza-Hunter; Bc: Celaj 2.

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