Sacred Heart Greenwich junior Payton Sfreddo entered Wednesday’s basketball game against Miss Porter’s School just three points away from reaching the 1000-career point mark, yet she wasn’t aware that she was so close to achieving the impressive milestone.
“I thought I was a decent amount of points away from it,” Sfreddo said following Sacred Heart’s game against Miss Porter’s. “I had no idea. Then, I started seeing people coming to my game that wouldn’t normally be here. Everyone was pulling out their phones, and I was like ‘something is going on.’ It was in the back of my mind.”
Sfreddo certainly knew what she accomplished when she converted a fastbreak layup with 54.9 seconds remaining in the first quarter. With that layup, Sfreddo, a guard/forward/tri-captain, became a 1,000 career point scorer, only the second Sacred Heart Greenwich player to reach and eclipse the 1,000 career point plateau.
“I’ve been wanting to do this my entire life, I’ve always looked up to people who have reached this milestone,” said Sfreddo, who began her varsity basketball career for the Tigers as an eighth-grader. “Just getting it means a lot to me and seeing all the support I received from my family, friends and people at the school made it really special. It’s definitely a one-time opportunity.”
After scoring 20 points in Sacred Heart’s convincing 74-36 win over visiting Miss Porter’s School, Sfreddo now has 1,017 career points and counting – the Tigers still have two games remaining on their schedule – then the postseason begins.
Immediately after Sfreddo made her right-handed layup in transition from the right side, the game was stopped and her teammates stormed the court to congratulate her. She was also joined by her coaches, who along with each member on the team, congratulated her. Balloons shaped in the numeral 1000 were presented to her.
“It felt great, it is a great accomplishment and I feel really proud and happy,” said Sfreddo, a three-sport athlete at SHG. “It’s a testament to this whole team and this program too. I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and teammates.”
Emily O’Sullivan, a 2015 graduate reached and eclipsed the 1,000 career point plateau. She played center for the Tigers and went on to play basketball at Haverford College.
“It’s not a common thing for a kid to reach 1,000, especially a junior,” Sacred Heart coach Ayo Hart said of Sfreddo. “This is a testament to her skills. She’s a very skilled player. Everyone knows she can hit the 3, but she’s also great a finishing at the rim. She can hit a pull-up jump shot. Today, Payton had an explosive game and she’s capable of doing that. She’s only the second person at the school to hit the 1,000 point milestone. It’s exciting and I’m really proud of her.”
The milestone making basket was also a thrill for Sfreddo’s teammates to witness.
“I’m super proud, she’s an amazing teammate and such a great co-captain,” Sacred Heart junior co-captain/guard Madison Hart said. “Her work shows every single day. She’s super committed to the team and she’s super humble.”
Said Sacred Heart sophomore guard Eva Wilkerson: “Payton has taken the team under her wing and put the team on her back and led us through her commitment and hard work. We’re really proud to have her on the team and she deserves this.”
In Wednesday’s resounding win over Miss Porter’s, Sfreddo tallied 20 points, 12 rebounds and four steals to lead the Tigers. Wilkerson also had a 20-point game, including four 3-pointers, while guard Ava Curto scored 13 points, grabbed four rebounds and had four steals in the winning effort.
Wilkerson added seven rebounds and four steals, while Madison Hart had nine assists, six rebounds and four steals and forward Maddie Hooper snared seven rebounds. Senior forward/center Olivia Caponiti had seven points and eight rebounds for Sacred Heart, which received 12 points, including three 3-pointers from guard Mackenzie Gillen and three points from junior guard Victoria Hart.
“We definitely started shooting really well at the end,” Sfreddo said. “One of our goals was to have good transition points and that’s we’ve been working on all season and that’s what came into play today.”
“It was a great win, we shot the ball really well, we played great defense and we got a lot of stops,” Madison Hart said.
The Tigers have regular season games against Suffield Academy (Saturday) and Storm King School (Feb. 15), before the FAA Tournament commences.
“We’re really working hard to advance in the playoffs and make it as far as we think we can go,” Wilkerson said. “We have to work as a team and commit to our goal and I think we’ll get there.”
Sfreddo also plays lacrosse and field hockey at Sacred Heart. She will continue her lacrosse career at the collegiate level at the University of Virginia.
“That’s the great aspect of Sacred Heart – being able to play three varsity sports and contribute to all of them the best I can,” Sfreddo said. “I love playing basketball, I love playing lacrosse and field hockey. I’m really happy to play lacrosse at the next level, but I’m sad to say goodbye to my other two sports, because they’ve meant a lot in my life.”
Categories: Sacred Heart Greenwich, Winter sports
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