The only reminder of what happened to Sadie Singer at St. Joseph's a little more than a year ago was a brace on her left knee.
It was in the first quarter of last season's Suffolk B/C title game, one game before Stony Brook would win the Long Island championship, when Singer tore an ACL, which forced her to miss the state tournament and the soccer season.
Back at St. Joseph's last night, one long rehab later, there was nothing but joy on Singer's face. Behind 19 points from Brannon Burke, stellar point-guard play by Singer and the support of a raucous cheering section, Stony Brook defeated East Rockaway, 49-36, in the Long Island Class C championship/Southeast Regional girls basketball semifinal.
"It's a great feeling," said Singer, who scored 14 points. "I am loving this right now. You're obviously a part of it , but this means so much more."
Stony Brook will play North Salem in the Class C Southeast Regional final Friday at 3 p.m. at Pace University in Pleasantville.
Joining it there will be the boys team, which won its own LI championship earlier in the night and cheered loudly throughout the game. The boys were returning the favor to the girls, who cheered them for a half before heading to their own game. "We love it," Burke said. "To have them here all hyped up was just great."
Added Singer: "We're so excited. Our whole school is celebrating tonight."
Stony Brook ended the first half on a 12-0 run to go up 26-16. Singer scored the first five points of the run, Burke the next five and Candace Baker beat the buzzer with a layup. Stony Brook held East Rock to two points in the second quarter.
Burke hit a few outside shots in the first quarter, but it was her post play in the second half that helped extend the lead.
"She lit it up from the get- go," Stony Brook coach Keith Singer said. "Plus, we gave up some rebounds the rest of the way and she won every 50/50 ball. If there was the ball and two people were there, she got it."
Jessica Winston added nine points for the Bears.
All of East Rockaway's points came from its five senior starters: Emily D'Archangelis, Theresa Amabile, Alyssa Marinazzo, Leanna DeGiulio and Alli Pacheco. D'Archangelis and Amabile had nine each, and DeGiulio and Pacheco had eight.