A storybook season for the Ponte Vedra girls basketball team came to a close last week when the Sharks lost to American Heritage School Plantation 59-33 in the Class 6A State Championship.
The team finished the year 24-6, which head coach Jim Piggott said is the best record in the program’s history. The state title appearance on March 1 was also the first for the Sharks’ program, after falling short of the championship last year in the semifinals to Lakewood.
Ponte Vedra was the lone First Coast team to play for the state title at RP Funding Center in Lakeland. Piggott said the size, speed and strength of American Heritage made it difficult for the Sharks to be successful. The Ponte Vedra coach said the team had to make a decision going into the game: take away the paint or take away the three-point shot. The Sharks decided to focus on the paint, and American Heritage consequently started hitting some deep, costly shots.
Regardless of the loss, Piggott is proud of his team’s heart and desire throughout the season.
“They always found a way and will to win most of the games,” he said.
Moving forward, Piggott said his team is in a good position to follow up this year’s performance with another strong season next year, since the Sharks are only losing one senior starter. However, the Sharks aren’t looking to repeat this year’s performance, he said. They have plans to do even better.
“After we went back to the locker room, the girls weren’t satisfied with the loss,” said Piggott. “They want to get another shot down there, which they know is going to be a lot of hard work. … Nothing’s impossible if you put the work in.”