Sharks cap emotional senior night with blowout win

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It proved to be a memorable senior night for the Ponte Vedra High girls basketball team, who defeated Fletcher 53-16 Jan. 28.

It was a night seniors Reeghan Mayer, Parker Peverley and Paige Hulihan will remember for quite some time.

“Heading into the game we knew this could be our last home game, so we really wanted to win because we all have so many family and friends in the crowd,” Peverley said.

Although the class is not the largest, with only three seniors, they have made an influence on the program.

“This senior class is probably one of the better ones I’ve had in my 12 years here,” head coach Jim Piggott said. “They each have a different role on the team and play different amounts of time, but they’ve gelled together so well, and they were able to get the girls to believe in the system and the team concept.”

Throughout the day leading up to the game and the senior night festivities prior to it, the girls could not help but look back at all the experiences they’ve had together.

“Me and Reeghan were really hyped and listening to music all day in the car,” Hulihan said. “All the girls came up and made signs for us, so it was just a pretty special day.”

All three girls have been involved with basketball from an early age thanks to support and a love of the game within their families.

Knowing that their basketball careers will soon be coming to an end is what made the night so emotional.

“I’ve been playing for my whole entire life, and I’m so happy to share this experience with some of my best friends,” said Mayer, who had been playing since she was 3 years old.

Hulihan played in her uncle Tommy Hulihan’s basketball league when she was 8 years old, and the game has been a major part of her life ever since and Peverley was introduced to the game by her dad who played.

One of the common things mentioned was the close nature of this year’s squad.

“We’re all so tight,” Mayer said. “The thing about our team that’s so important is that everyone holds each other accountable.”

That accountability is something special and unique for such a young team, which points to the leadership role the seniors have played.

“They didn’t just develop that this year,” Piggott said. “In our system we try to develop that throughout their four years here. We’re trying to establish a tradition here at Ponte Vedra about being family-oriented and playing for the love for each other.”

All three seniors have differing roles on the team, but they each have a vital part in the overall success of the group.

According to Piggott, Mayer is a true point guard out on the court and so much runs through her to make sure everyone is in the right position to have success.

“She makes everyone around her better, offensively and defensively,” Piggott said. “She’s like another coach on the floor.”

Hulihan’s ability to not shy away from contact and instead embrace physicality on the court is a key part of her style of play.

“She’s a beast going to the basket,” Piggott said. “No one wants to get in her way.”

Peverley’s influence as a leader off the bench has helped provide the Sharks with reliable depth that will come in handy during the postseason.

“We have such a big freshmen and sophomore core, so being a senior has become more and more important in helping the younger girls,” Peverley said.

Mayer led all scorers with 18 points, while sophomore Morgan Gavazzi finished in double figures with 10, as the Sharks jumped out to a 32-12 halftime lead.

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