A Cheshire resident, Sacred Heart Academy sophomore basketball player Carina Ciampi scored 10 points against Pomperaug on March 6, but the Sharks fell 39-38 in the Class L Second Round.
Pomperaug was the aggressor early, scoring the opening five points en route to building a 14-3 lead in the first quarter.
“We knew that we had to pick it (our play) up,” said Ciampi.
The Sharks gained momentum in the second quarter, outscoring the Panthers, 12-8, to cut the deficit to 22-15 at halftime. Ciampi keyed the rally with a three-pointer and two free throws during the second.
SHA extended their comeback in the third quarter, using a 10-3 spurt to tie the game at 25-25. Ciampi sank two free throws and netted a runner in the run.
“We had to keep playing hard to get back in the game,” reflected Ciampi.
The Panthers went up 31-27 at the end of the third quarter, but SHA came back to tie the score at 35-35. With the game on the line, senior Madison Villa made two baskets to put Pomperaug up by four points.
Senior Elena Farquharson, who led SHA with 13 points, made a layup to cut the deficit to 39-37 in the final minute. SHA had a chance to win, but a three-point shot missed at the buzzer.
“It was tough to come up short, but we were happy to get to the second round of states,” said Ciampi.
After SHA went 2-18 last season, the Sharks responded with a 18-5 record.
“Our coach (Jason Kirck) brought a new culture to the team,” explained Ciampi. “Everyone worked hard this year.”
With just three seniors, SHA will bring back a veteran roster.
“It is great to see how much we’ve grown. We want to keep getting better,” stated Ciampi.