WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Tiffany Corselli was not pleased with her performance Saturday in the first half of top-seeded Alexander Hamilton High's Section 1 Class C Girls Basketball Championship game against No. 2 seed Haldane.
The senior had seven points, but felt she was not on her game. That would change in the third quarter as Corselli took over, scoring 16 of her game-high 29 points to propel the top seed to a 50-40 win at the Westchester County Center.
Hamilton will play Section 9 champion Livingston Manor at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Mount St. Mary’s College in Newburgh.
“This feels wonderful,” said Corselli, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the Class C championships. “This is the first time I’ve ever played in a championship game in high school and won it.”
It was the Red Raiders’ second consecutive Section 1 Class C championship, and it was especially sweet. Hamilton had heard the whispers that it would not be able to win without leading scorer and rebounder Maia Hood, a senior who has been sidelined since early February with a knee injury.
“We knew a lot of people doubted us, but we knew we could do it,” said senior guard Jasmine Robinson, who had 21 points and was named to the all-tournament team. “It feels great because this is the second time in a row for us.”
Corselli and Robinson both agreed that seeing Hood, their good friend and injured teammate, on the bench had the team determined.
“Maia is our motivation,” Robinson said. “I’ve been playing with Maia since seventh grade. We had to win this for Maia.”
Hamilton trailed Haldane, 17-16, at the half. Robinson scored nine points in the first half to keep the Raiders in the game.
“We knew we couldn’t win if I didn’t score in double digits,” said Robinson, who was held below 10 points against Keio in the semifinal win.
Corselli turned the third quarter into a highlight film, connecting on four 3-pointers, including a runner off the glass at the buzzer. Robinson contributed eight in the third.
“Coach told us at halftime that we were stopping ourselves the way we were playing,” Corselli said. “He told us that we had to forget the first half and treat it like it was 0-0.”