Ali DiPietro - 12 Sports Athlete of the Week
ENDICOTT, N.Y. (WBNG) - “We go as Ali Diepetro goes.”
During a postseason run, there’s usually one player on a team that steps up big. For the Union-Endicott girls basketball squad, that player is senior guard Ali DiPietro.
“We’re at the point now that everybody is good. We’re good, they’re good, it’s going to come down to the end. Having someone on the floor who stays cool and collected and can hit that big shot, it just gives you confidence,” said Union-Endicott head coach Mike Howell.
No one in Section 4 has been better in clutch moments this postseason. In the tigers semifinal win over Johnson City, DiPietro scored 20 points, including three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
“Everyone had to make big shots. Everyone had to play good defense to win the game and we all had to step up in order to make it to the Arena. I think that’s what we all did,” explained DiPietro.
Then in U-E’s championship win over Maine-Endwell she put up 18 points. When she makes those momentum changing shots, she lets everyone know just how much it means to her.
“It gets us all fired up. I get fired up from it. It feeds them all. They see her doing it and they believe. They start believing that we can do this,” said Howell.
“When she makes that three she picks up our team and gets us hyped up. Every single moment you can tell how she’s feeling on the court but she doesn’t let it get in her head. As excited as she is, she still gets down and plays on defense and makes that next play,” added Union-Endicott senior forward Olivia Guccia.
After winning their program’s first sectional title since 2007, U-E is optimistic heading into states. For a roster full of seniors, they have adopted High School Musical’s “Now or Never” as their team anthem. A song about making your last high school basketball games count.
“So there’s nine seniors on this team and we’ve been playing together since second grade. That song just perfectly represents how we’re feeling like it’s now or never this is our time to shine,” said DiPietro.
DiPietro plans on giving her team plenty of more time together.
“We’re not losing, we’re not done yet, we’re going to keep going,” added DiPietro.
To continue their run U-E needs big shots, and they’ve found the person to make them.
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