ALBANY - On the day that Boogie Brozoski was introduced to the crowd as the winner of this year's Miss New York Basketball award, she was the belle of the ball.
The senior and five-year starter scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Long Island Lutheran over Ossining, 67-55, in a state Federation Class AA girls basketball semifinal at SEFCU Arena Friday.
Latest HS sports stories
"I show up to play the big games," said the Michigan-bound Brozoski, who also had four steals and three assists for the Lady Crusaders (20-4).
Lutheran will try to win a second straight Federation title Saturday night at 9 against Christ the King. The Royals rallied past South Shore, 71-67, despite 46 points by South Shore's Brianna Fraser, a Federation girls basketball record.
The Miss New York Basketball award, presented by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York, gave Brozoski a sweep of the state's major individual awards. She also was voted New York's Gatorade Player of the Year. What matters most to Brozoski, though, is the state title. "I hate losing. I won't accept it," she said.
Brozoski's teammates apparently felt the same way Friday. Their defense was intense and effective and they were ferocious off the glass.
"Defensively, we played lockdown for three quarters," Lutheran coach Rich Slater said. "And everyone was a killer on the boards."
LuHi forced Ossining into 5-for-26 shooting from beyond the arc (19 percent) and 14-for-52 shooting overall (27 percent). The Lady Crusaders had a 41-25 rebounding advantage, with center Evelyn Omemmah complementing Brozoski with eight boards and forwards Celeste Taylor and Taylor Byrne adding six each.
Nani Redford, Brozoski's speedy backcourt partner, contributed 10 points and two steals. Jenna Siletti came off the bench to shoot 5-for-7 and score 12 points.
"This team is not just me,'' Brozoski said. "Our depth is a huge factor."
Having so many good players allowed Slater to keep up the defensive pressure on Ossining (23-3), whose star, Jalay Knowles, scored 45 points in the Pride's state Class AA championship victory over Rush-Henrietta last weekend.
Knowles scored 23 points Friday, but many of them came late, when Lutheran was in firm control. She had only seven points in the first half and shot 6-for-16 overall.
"We used a little matchup zone," Slater said of the wrinkle used to complement Lutheran's traditionally tough man-to-man defense.
Ossining did have one stellar streak after falling behind 48-26 late in the third quarter. The Pride scored 12 straight points to make it 48-38 with 5:53 left. That's when Erin Storck nailed a long three-pointer from the top of the key to restore order for LuHi.
Brozoski dazzled in the final period with 10 points, utilizing her signature crossover, pull-up jumper on several occasions.
"Ossining is a good team and we knew they'd make a run," she said. "But we've been in that situation before. We just had to keep calm. Let the game come to you."
Miss New York Basketball doesn't miss much.