Mount Sinai girls basketball player reaches next high mark

Mount Sinai girls basketball player reaches next high mark

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Gabby Sartori drives the lane in a Feb. 6, 2018 game against Miller Place. Photo by Desirée Keegan

The players on Mount Sinai’s girls basketball team like to rib senior Gabby Sartori about her scoring record. Of course, it’s all in good humor, and if she’s anxious about her record, she doesn’t show it. After all, having sunk over 1,500 points in her 6-year varsity basketball career, and with college looming on the horizon, the final score isn’t something she wants to stress about.

“I’m not a braggart, but they definitely mention it a lot — they kind of say it to get me uncomfortable about it,” Sartori said. “That’s the kind of thing you expect from your friends.”

Gabby Sartori maintains possession along the sideline in a 2018 lacrosse game. Photo by Desirée Keegan

The Mount Sinai senior scored her 1,000th point Dec. 27, 2017, but it only took her a short time to reach that next milestone in a Dec. 28 game against Smithtown West, with Mount Sinai finishing, 56-44. It’s an achievement that has her coach, Jeff Koutsantanou, close to reeling.

“I’ve been coaching for about 20 years, both boys and girls, and I’ve never had a player who has an ability to score like her,” Koutsantanou said. “One thousand is great, but for her to get 1,500 is tremendous.”

It’s a constant edge of improvement, and while 1,500 is a nice round number, Sartori already scored 35 points in a Jan. 2 game against Bayport-Blue Point in which the Mustangs won, 57-47. 

Yet Sartori, who plays guard in most games, said she is not letting the numbers go to her head. She’s cool under pressure, and she becomes laser focused on achieving what she wants, whether it’s sinking a basket or in her academics with a 94 unweighted GPA.

Sartori will be attending Brown University after she graduates Mount Sinai, but she won’t be playing basketball once she gets to the Ivy League school. Instead, she’ll be there for lacrosse, which along with soccer, is another sport she has excelled in.

“I’ve gotten so used to balancing them, but there was one point where I had to balance all three sports at the same time with travel, but it helps with college next year because I’ll have that all year round,” she said.

While Ivy League schools don’t give out much in the way of scholarships, the young basketball player said it’s all about what she can use, either in sports or in the name of a school, to help her realize her professional dreams.

“If you can use a sport to that high ground, I would do it 100 percent,” Sartori said. “I don’t care if they haven’t won any tournaments.”

When it comes to her college expectations, the young basketball player said she expects to enroll in the college’s communications programs, eventually hoping to work in sports broadcasting as either a commentator or analyst.

‘If you can use a sport to that high ground, I would do it 100 percent.’

— Gabby Sartori

In her visits to Brown, Sartori said the Ivy League’s lacrosse team has already been friendly, but are amazed at her skill having come from a little known public school on Long Island.

“They’re all shocked that I go to a public school, because they all come from private schools,” she said. “Their shocked and say, ‘you go to school with boys?’ and I say, ‘yeah, I do.’”

Even with college lacrosse on the horizon, basketball has been one of those lifetime sports for Sartori, as she’s been playing the sport since she was 4 years old, egged on by her father Jim Sartori.

Despite her impressive record, Sartori is just one exceptional player amongst a standout team. Last season the girls went 20-0 in a near perfect run before finally being defeated Feb. 26 in a county finals loss to Hauppauge. 

The Mustangs are currently sitting at a solid 6-2, but there is still much of the season left. Of course, Sartori said the team’s goal is to make it to county champions, but the young basketball player said she wants to see the team go as far as they can in the playoffs.

“I want us to try to get as far as we can in the postseason — I’d take a loss now over that,” she said.