One team one heart


The Sacred Heart Greenwich varsity basketball team began their 2017-2018 season Wednesday, November 15. Fourteen girls comprised this year’s roster including one freshman, three sophomores, four juniors, and six seniors. When they began in November, their goal for the season was to come together as a team in order to have a winning season with the help of their new coach Mrs. Ayo Hart.

Number 23, Leah Atkins ’20 dribbles down the court during the FAA quarterfinal game against GFA.
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Last year, during the semi-final Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) game against local rival Greenwich Academy (GA), the basketball team ended their season with a final score of 42 to 56. This defeat meant that the team would not reach the FAA championship finals.

Because of the loss of five players from the previous season, the team was anxious to play GA this year during their first FAA game. Nonetheless, this season Sacred Heart was able to maintain the lead throughout the entire game against GA and won by a score of 55 to 31. This victory gave the players the confidence to continue throughout the rest of their season.

“We had a lot of energy going into our GA game this year after having lost to them in the semi-finals,” junior and two-year varsity basketball team member Sarah Eckerson said. “We all knew we had to play our hardest to win against a team that has a lot of skill, and we really wanted a comeback against them.” 

This win against GA led them to their following FAA game against Hamden Hall Country Day School, where their winning streak continued as they won with a score of 46 to 44.

However, the team struggled in following games, losing 32 to 33 against Hopkins School and 47 to 61 to reigning FAA champions St. Luke’s School. 

The varsity players reached the quarterfinal playoff game, where they faced Green Farms Academy (GFA), a team they beat 52 to 44 during the regular season. The two teams battled it out during the playoff game Tuesday, February 20, until Sacred Heart took the win with a score of 57 to 49.  

Number four, Ryan Smith ’19 passes the ball during a regular season game against King School.
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“The GFA playoff game was my favorite moment [this year],” senior and varsity basketball co-captain Laura Holland said. “It was a really tight game.

Following its success in the quarterfinal game, the team was able to strive towards playing in the FAA championship. However, they first had to compete in their semi-final game against Hamden Hall. At halftime, Sacred Heart was down by 11 points, but after a pep talk from Mrs. Hart, the team rose up after halftime with rejuvenated spirits. They came back from an 11 point deficit, and were one basket away from Hamden Hall until the end of the game, losing by only three points with a final score of 49 to 46.

“After Coach Hart’s pep talk we went back onto the court with a renewed energy and felt determined to win,” Sarah said. “Although we couldn’t pull through, during the second half we proved to ourselves and each other what we’re capable of after having a comeback full of heart and spirit.”

As a result, the basketball team ended its regular season with a league record of seven wins and eight losses, and as a result, were the third-seeded team in the FAA league.

Although the team lost the game, the players were able to grow closer together from the experience that made them more motivated than ever to reach the FAA championships next year.

“Even though we fell short in this final game, the team won by working as hard as we could for each other,”  senior and varsity basketball co-captain Erin Cleary said