St. Mary’s High School girls basketball coach Jeff Newhall said that Nicolette D’Itria is one of the most fundamentally sound players he’s ever coached in his career.
D’Itria, senior guard from Revere, has also consistently displayed what many consider the most important facet of a basketball player’s game: the ability to connect on long-range shots. From former UConn great Diana Taurasi to current UConn freshman Paige Bueckers, it’s the high-percentage accuracy – especially in key situations in games – that separates the best players from their opponents.
On Saturday in the Catholic Central League championship game (CCL Cup) against Fenwick, D’Itria put on a show in the third quarter. The 5-foot-6-inch guard swished 3 three-pointers in a sizzling stretch of individual excellence to help St. Mary’s build a 39-16 lead.
Fenwick staged a rally in the fourth quarter, but it was D’Itria’s 15 points overall, four assists, and seven rebounds that proved to be the difference in St. Mary’s 46-40 victory at the Tony Conigliaro Gymnasium in Lynn.
Fittingly, D’Itria scored the final point of the game (and her high school career) on a free throw with four seconds left.
Newhall said D’Itria “stepped up big” during the key juncture in the game.
“Nicolette’s baskets in the third quarter were probably the sequence that won the game for us,” lauded Newhall. “She played well all game but the three 3s right in a row – that’s when we made our run.”
St. Mary’s finished its season with a 20-3 record, the most wins by any team in Massachusetts.
Newhall thanked D’itria and the other St. Mary’s seniors, Maiya Bergdorf, Alyssa Grossi, Pej’ae Parent, and Van Nguyen, for their outstanding leadership. All told, D’itria and Company produced more than 80 victories and multiple league, North sectional, and Eastern Mass. championships, highlighted by the 2020 state title. Many observers felt that this year’s St. Mary’s team was destined for a return to the Garden and a repeat as state champion, but the MIAA canceled the State Tournament due to the pandemic.
D’Itria leaves St. Mary’s as a four-year starter and one of its most successful players ever. Future induction into the school’s Hall of Fame is a certainty, but she has college basketball – and many more three-pointers – in her immediate future at Endicott.
“It was awesome to beat Fenwick in our home gym for the CCL championship – it’s just a great way to end off your senior season,” said D’Itria. “I had a great five years with Coach Newhall, Coach [Tim] Spinney and all the coaches. Every team was different and amazing and it was good to make new friends each year.”
Nicolette is the daughter of Mike D’Itria and Tami D’Itria. Her brother, Anthony, is a member of the St. Mary’s High School boys varsity basketball team.