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TimesLedger CHSAA Player of the Year: Dawn Gorynski

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When Dawn Gorynski makes the two-hour drive to Lehigh University in the fall, she will bring an impressive array of honors with her, including an 18.1 points, 6.2 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game average as well as a 1,330 SAT score, a 100.02 GPA and the all-time scoring record at St. Francis Prep with 1,346 points.

The Bayside native can also add TimesLedger CHSAA Player of the Year to her list of accolades.

“Her work ethic is blue collar,” said St. Francis Prep coach Tom Finn. “She’s not the tallest player, she’s not the fastest. What God didn’t give her, she got in the weight room and by hard work.”

Gorynski is not the only TimesLedger Player of the Year to be going to Lehigh in the fall. She will be joined by fellow St. Francis Prep student Chris Zambrano, a standout on the Terriers football team who was named the TimesLedger Player of the Year.

Finn has coached basketball in some capacity at St. Francis for 21 years, but has never coached a player, male or female, who worked harder than Gorynski.

“I literally have to put the baskets up at night to keep her out of the gym,” Finn said.

Despite her unparalleled work ethic, several Division I schools, including Georgetown, Drexel, Manhattan, William and Mary and Old Dominion, passed on Gorynski because of her lack of height (she stands 5-foot-6 1/2).

“Someone was going to get a steal,” Finn said. “And Lehigh certainly did.”

For three years as the starting point guard, Gorynski helped lead St. Francis Prep to three consecutive CHSAA Class ‘B’ titles. Unfortunately for Gorynski and the Terriers, they lost three straight years to national powerhouse Our Lady of Lourdes in the state Federation championship.

In her final high school game, Gorynski and the Terriers gave Lourdes, ranked No. 4 nationally, a major scare as she scored 13 points in a 53-45 loss many thought would be a blowout.

“She can adapt her game to what needs to be done,” Finn said. “On nights when the scorer is off, she has the ability to do that. She has the ability to tailor her game depending on what the rest of the team is doing.”

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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