Capital Prep has taken down conference foes, out-of-state teams, title contenders in Class L and blitzed the best team in the Central Connecticut Conference by 16 to win the state final. After all that, there is no question in coach Tammy Millsaps mind of who the best team in Connecticut is.
“The fat lady has sung,” the coach said. “Capital Prep: Class L state champs. What more do you need to say?”
The voters agreed.
Capital Prep received all 16 first-place votes to collect 480 points and finish the season the unanimous No. 1 team in Connecticut in the GametimeCT/Register Top 10 poll. The Trailblazers were the top team in the poll all season.
Lauralton Hall, which won the Class LL title, was the unanimous second place team in the poll with 448 points all on second place votes. Class L runner-up Weaver was third with 392 points.
Capital Prep finished the season 27-0, has won 40 games in a row and has not lost a game since Jan. 26, 2013 to Bishop Ford (N.Y.) 66-64. The last Connecticut team to beat Capital Prep was Coginchaug on March 17, 2012 in the Class S final.
The Trailblazers ran through its Constitution State Conference schedule, won six out-of-state games and rallied from down 10 points in the first half to beat CCC champion Weaver in the state title.
“Once we settled down and played our game it was a no-brainer,” Millsaps said. “We were more talented than them, we were the better team and we won the game.”
Kiah Gillespie, who was named Gatorade Player of the Year, said her team worked hard for every win this season.
“We deserved it,” she said. “People don’t really know what we do in practice. We really do a lot, all the things (Millsaps) has us do. Regardless of who we played or what was the score, we really deserve this.”
Meanwhile, for senior Taylor Williams, the end of her high school career came too soon.
“This is definitely bittersweet,” she said. “I’m sad that it’s over, but I’m happy it was with this group of girls.”
Capital Prep was led for most of the year by Williams, Gillespie and Desiree Elmore. However, in the title game freshman Angelique Rodriguez stepped up with 12 points.
So after tough practices and long bus rides out of state to play opponents, all the hard work has paid off. The Trailblazers continue to have a stranglehold on Connecticut high school girls basketball for another year.
“We have our fights, we have our laughs, but at the end of the day we come on the court with one thing in mind,” Williams said.