The road to Mohegan for Farmington girls basketball and the journey that came with it


Blake Rutenberg, Staff Writer

The Farmington girls basketball team finished their 20 game regular season posting a record of 17-3. To finish off, Farmington won eight of its last ten games including a win over Simsbury. The girls were able to get back to Mohegan Sun for a shot at the State Championship for the first time since 2013.

“As a coach it meant so much that our players got to experience all that comes with playing for a state championship at Mohegan Sun.  From the excitement of being able to run on the court to celebrate the semi-final win over Wethersfield to the banquet at the Aqua-Turf and then the experience of actually playing at Mohegan Sun was all worth it even though we did not get the victory.  As a coach I made a promise to myself to soak in the entire experience this time and I did that. My favorite part of the experience was seeing how much the players enjoyed it and had the chance to experience something like that,” head coach Keith Garbart said.

The girls were successful for a number of different reasons this year, one of which being the presence of underclassmen and their ability to step up. Senior captain Izzy Lipinski was able to lead the Indians through the duration of their season and on their run in the playoffs.

The Indians entered the tournament as a three seed, in the opening round they defeated Foran. In the second round the Indians would go on to host Capital Prep.

In years prior, Farmington tended to struggle against Capital Prep, this year, Capital Prep was seeded 14th. However, Capital Prep played most of its games against teams in New York and New Jersey. Farmington rallied around senior Izzy Lipinski and freshman Emma Novajasky to pull out a win over Prep in the second round in the state tournament.

“From the girls on the bench, to the girls on the court everyone contributed there part to the team. We all played together and everyone played their role,” freshman Emma Novajasky said.

The girls took on Wethersfield in the Class L semifinals at Newington High School. At halftime Farmington led by a score of 17-15. There were several lead changes in the second half of the game, as the Indians trailed for a bulk of the third quarter. However, the girls rallied in the fourth quarter and improved their shooting percentage from the field to hold of Wethersfield and move into the championship round.

In the Class L championship match against RHAM,  Farmington struggled shooting 28.9% from the field and 47.6% from the line. Lipinski was the only Farmington player to go into double digit points scoring 12 for the Indians. Farmington went on to lose 58-35 as RHAM went on a 22-0 run over the course of the third quarter.

“As for our success, I don’t think I have any regrets, as a team or for myself. We made it further than anyone thought we would and I ended my last high school game at Mohegan Sun; obviously no one likes losing but it was definitely a run I won’t forget, senior Izzy Lipinski said.