TORRINGTON: The senior members of the Torrington girls’ basketball team have certainly seen their share of obstacles over their four-year careers as Raiders.
This group, Leah Pergola, Rachel Brewer-Karimi, Amelia Boulli Brianna Murelli and Julianna Latina have been playing together since fourth grade and has managed to stay a cohesive unit through challenging times in their young lives.
Let’s see, their season may have concluded in 2020 when Covid hit but the State tournament and the world shut down the second week of March.
They had to adjust, adapt and, like all of our families all did, figure it out on the fly.
There was no 2021 postseason with games (14) played from early February until late March.
Maska for all. Not fun.
Still, this group stayed tight, didn’t break apart when they had more than enough reasons to do so,
Last year started to feel a little more normal as the Raider posted a 14-6 regular season mark and won a first round State tournament game.
That brings us to this tear.
After tonight’s 55-17 win over visiting Kennedy, the Raiders finish the regular season with a terrific 16-3 mark and enter the Naugatuck Valley League tournament on Saturday with a boatload of confidence.
And why not.
The hardest job they had Thursday night was getting the seniors out of the game late in the fourth so they could be saluted by the fan base.
Head coach Mike Fritch was trying his best to get each of the seniors out, one by one, but it can only happen on a dead ball.
Several times the coaches tried to encourage the players to commit an easy foul or travel, or something.
Eventually, it worked, and each got their moment.
They have each had their moments on the court this year and on Thursday, Pergola, playing with a heavy heart after the passing of her grandmother yesterday, played her heart out.
If you know the Pergola family, the hardwood is their solace and playing in front of family and friends and a smiling grandma from above, this talented senior poured in 17-points. Haley Burger also pumped in 17 for the home team.
Brewer-Karimi’s tenacious defense and nifty layups from the side were staples all year while Murelli was the point guard who guided the ship.
Boulli, who had the game winning trey against Naugatuck on Tuesday night, was a three ball machine at times while playing an important role on the boards.
Latina was a steadying force for the team when she was on the floor, playing tough on offense and defense.
The team started the year 5-0 before hitting a speed bump with losses to Holy Cross and Woodland in consecutive games.
They would right the ship, taking their next nine straight before falling to Woodland late last week.
This 2022/2023 has given fans a lot to cheer about and there is more to come.
With a potential first round bye in the upcoming Class L states, the road to a nice run is in front of this team who has taken the hard journey to get to this point and are none too eager for it to end, anytime soon.