Good things come in threes. Just ask Gabby Zaffiro.
With her third three-pointer of the first quarter, the North Shore junior became the 33rd boys or girls basketball player in Long Island history to score at least 2,000 points, according to Newsday records.
Zaffiro had 34 points, eight rebounds and five assists Wednesday in second-seeded North Shore’s 74-46 win over seventh-seeded Cold Spring Harbor in a Nassau A quarterfinal, sparking the Vikings to their sixth straight trip to the county semifinals. They’ll play No. 3 Sewanhaka on Saturday at 7 p.m. at SUNY Old Westbury.
“My points, I’m obviously very proud of them,” said Zaffiro, who made seven threes and was honored after the game with a commemorative ball and painting made by her friend Megan Tornatore. “But my points always come through the course of the game. It’s not one of my goals I set for myself.”
The milestone capped a sequence that began with Zaffiro missing a layup in traffic. Paige Barwick grabbed one of her six rebounds to keep the possession alive and found Zaffiro wide open in the right corner with 4:55 remaining in the first quarter.
After a brief officials’ timeout to acknowledge the achievement, Zaffiro went back to work. She made three-pointers on consecutive possessions late in the half. The second one came from the top of the arc with 1:43 left and gave her 200 threes since she started playing varsity in seventh grade.
North Shore led 40-25 at the half thanks to eight of Zaffiro’s points in a 15-4 run.
“She loves to make big plays, but she also loves to defer the ball to other people,” said Ashleigh Sheerin, who had 10 points and seven rebounds. “She makes plays for other people. I think that’s the truest testament to the player she is.”
Zaffiro attributed her success to form-shooting drills she and Jessica Scuderi, who had 12 points on four three-pointers, performed 30 minutes prior to pregame workouts.
“When I form-shoot, I play better overall,” said Zaffiro, who leads Long Island with 29.4 points per game. “When my shot’s on, the game comes more to me. I know that I always have to shoot well, so I just decided to come in early to do it.”
Zaffiro earned a trip to the semifinals and reached 200 three-pointers and 2,000 points all in one game. Good things come in threes.