SOMERS, N.Y. – Basketball has been in Dani DiCintio’s blood since the day she was born.
DiCintio, a four-year starter who is committed to Roberts Wesleyan College, is the daughter of Somers boys varsity basketball head coach Chris DiCintio. Her brother, Chris DiCintio Jr., played for the Tuskers and recently graduated in 2018.
The senior star point guard scored her 1,000th career point in Somers’ 60-29 league win over visiting Lakeland on Jan. 29.
“It means so much to me and my dad,” said Dani DiCintio, who grew up playing for her father’s East Coast Panthers AAU program. “Him just raising me as a basketball player and being able to see it in his gym was great. He’s coached kids that scored 1,000 points and I’ve always wanted it. I’m so happy I got it.”
DiCintio, who finished with 16 points, has worked hard over the years to hone her craft.
“Honestly, my dad and I have worked out all the time with basketball,” she said. “I shoot like over a hundred shots a day. I just have to keep shooting and practicing.”
The milestone basket came just 23 seconds into the game. Taylor Penzo grabbed a rebound and passed the ball out to DiCintio, who let one fly from deep and it hit nothing but net.
“She’s hit that shot it seems like a million times,” said Somers coach Marc Hattem. “And not only has she hit that shot a million times, she’s also done it with a hand in her face a million times. The funniest thing I’ve heard about Dani, and it’s so true, somebody came in to work with the girls a couple weeks ago and he goes, ‘DiCintio, are you getting a pension from this school district yet?’ But it’s so true, because she’s been around forever. She’s had some career and the best part is that I feel like she’s taken ownership of this season and wants to make another run. It’s really nice to see her get it. Everything’s getting a little more stressful and tense now with the regular season ending. I think you’ll see her continue to step up.”
In previous seasons, DiCintio has had to share the scoring load. But this year she is the focal point of the offense.
“She’s had to share the ball in years past with Hannah (Angelini) and (Liv) Lipski and all the other kids that scored,” Hattem said. “This year, we’ve got great kids that want to let her play and Dani’s going to. That’s her mentality; she’s got that mode. I think her mental makeup and her tenacity to score the ball makes her successful.”
Somers jumped out to an early lead and was up 13-5 after another DiCintio three with 3:26 left in the first quarter. Lakeland, however, stormed back and trailed just 14-12 after one quarter.
The second quarter belonged to the Tuskers. Freshman Ava Giudice scored, DiCintio nailed a 3-pointer and Jordan May finished on a fast break to quickly increase the lead to 21-12. Penzo drove and found May followed by two May free throws to extend the lead. Somers out hustled the Hornets on their way to a 29-16 halftime lead.
It was more of the same in the third quarter with the Tuskers leading 48-22 heading into the final quarter.
“We had to run on them,” DiCintio said. “That’s literally our key: to rebound, look at me and just go and run.”
May, a senior, scored a game-high 17 points.
Somers 59, John Jay (Cross River) 36
Friday, Jan. 31
In another dominant league win, Somers cruised past visiting John Jay (Cross River), 59-36.
DiCintio scored 15 points to lead the Tuskers. Giudice added 12 points and had 6 steals. Emily Arena, a senior captain, also had 12 points.
Somers won their fourth straight game to improve to 9-6 overall and is an undefeated 6-0 in league play.
The Tuskers were scheduled to travel to Brewster on Feb. 4. They then host Yorktown at 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 6. Somers rounds out the week by competing against Scarsdale in the Pauline Ricci Classic on Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. at Ossining High School.
“This is our best basketball, this is us,” DiCintio said. “We’re on a winning streak now and we’re going to keep it going.”