Tori Faieta is one of the top high school basketball centers in the state of Massachusetts.
College basketball is certainly in her future but the 6-foot-2-inch junior is having such a great time playing for St. Mary’s High School, she might want to opt for a post-graduate year after 2011.
If ever a smile could light up a gymnasium, it was that of Tori Faieta moments after she scored her 1,000th career point and her teammates enveloped her and head coach Jeff Newhall approached with congratulatory gifts for a mid-court ceremony and photos.
Faieta finished her magical night with 24 points and 15 rebounds as St. Mary’s raced past Bishop Fenwick, 73-47, in a match-up of two State Tournament-bound teams.
St. Mary’s, with Faieta leading the charge, opened with an amazing 25-point first quarter. Fenwick threatened to make a game of it, but the Lady Spartans clearly showed that when they’re playing at the top of their game, they are one of the elite teams anywhere.
Cassi Amenta, a junior from Lynn and a star in her own right, contributed 22 points and 12 rebounds. Senior guard Bria Tiro had 17 points in a stellar performance. Lynn residents Amenta and Faieta have been teammates for three seasons.
“I am so proud of Tori,” said Amenta after the game. “She’s worked hard for so long and I think she deserves it. I’m extremely proud of her. This was an awesome win.”
Jeff Newhall was excited about Faieta’s milestone and his team’s performance against a strong Fenwick team that will be playing in the Division 3 North Sectional with St. Mary’s.
“She’s the only player in school history with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds,” credited Newhall. “I thought she played tonight like she has for pretty much every game in her career. She plays hard. She doesn’t let little things bother her. She dominated the game in the paint. I thought she and Cassi had a tremendous game in the paint. I couldn’t be happier with tonight’s performance. It was a good night for St. Mary’s girls basketball.”
Faieta said she was happy to reach the milestone in the Conigliaro Gymnasium.
“It feels really good to reach it – I’m glad it’s over so I don’t have to worry about it anymore,” said Faieta. “It was not one of my goals. It just happened to come along and I’m more than happy to take it. I had no idea my team was going to do any of this and that they had my face in the stands.”
Several fans held up Faieta’a photo in the stands and joined in a standing ovation after she scored the 1,000th point in the second quarter.
Faieta has earned a reputation as a hard-working player who put in the time in the off season to become an elite player.
“It definitely takes hard work,” said Faieta. “You have to work hard in practices because then it translates into games.