WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Danielle Gervacio recalled her first memory of watching the Section 1 Class AA Girls Basketball Championship at the Westchester County Center.
“Coach Ricci did a belly flop after they won the sectional title in 2004,” said the Ossining senior guard and five-year varsity player. “I was thinking about what if that happens to me and we win, I don’t know what I would do.”
Gervacio experienced winning a sectional title in her sophomore and junior years and concluded her County Center career with a third Sunday in Ossining’s 83-51 win over Our Lady of Lourdes.
Ossining will play Section 4 champion Horseheads at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the College of New Rochelle in a New York State regional semifinal.
Gervacio played in five Section 1 Class AA championship games, the only Ossining varsity basketball player to ever do so.
Ossining coach Dan Ricci promoted Gervacio in eighth grade to be a back-up point guard to a then-hobbled Haley Auerdick. Ricci said Gervacio was the sixth girl her freshman year and has been a starter the last three.
“Danielle has a big heart and she is our vocal leader,” said Ricci, who also coaches Gervacio on varsity lacrosse. “She has really stepped up at this time of the year, making the all-tournament team two years in tow.”
Gervacio laughed when she brought up her first time on the County Center floor.
“We were playing Mount Vernon in the final and they were a great team,” said Gervacio, who had 10 points. “I got in for a few seconds. I remember thinking there was nothing like this.”
Following consecutive losses to Mount Vernon in the final, Gervacio and her teammates won the title in 2011.
“If you look at the pictures I am bawling my eyes out,” said Gervacio with a laugh. “We were so excited because a lot of people didn’t think we were going to win the gold ball that year.”
Gervacio didn’t cry Sunday. Instead, a smile engulfed her face from the moment the game ended and the post-game awards ceremony began.
“It feels like the first time,” said Gervacio after accepting the gold ball. “It’s been such a blessing to have won three sectional titles. I am so thankful and I could not have asked for a better group of girls to share this with.”
Saniya Chong led Ossining with 39 points and was selected the tournament most valuable player.