TORRINGTON – After pulling off a pair of upsets over Douglas and Wheatland and coming up short in the 3A East Regional Tournament against Rawlins, the loss proved to be the final time three Torrington High School seniors stepped on the basketball court together.
Fast forward a week, Sam Firminhac, Jackson Jones and Cameron Murphy were preparing for the final basketball games of their career when things came crashing down. Unbeknownst to the trio, when the team departed for Casper on the morning of Thursday, March 12, thinking everything was a go for the weekend, they had no idea their season was about to come to an abrupt end.
“If you lose at regionals, you have an resolution to the season where everyone is sad and you get over it, but if you don’t lose at regionals, you expect to play a couple games. The way it worked out, it was just over,” THS coach Neil Baker said. “I feel bad for all the kids. For the seniors, it was their last shot.”
Early in the day, everything seemed to be on schedule, but as the noon tipoff against Big Piney drew closer, things began to change and change quickly.
“We heard rumors that they might not allow fans to be there watching,” Firminhac said. “It was kind of a bummer because not having your parents there to watch your last couple games was pretty unfortunate.”
The reaction among the seniors and the rest of the team was shock and disbelief, but at the same time, the consensus was, at least the team was still going to be able to play basketball.
“Not having family and friends there sucks, but at least they were going to let us play,” Murphy said.
Even that changed as the team was getting off the bus and walking into the Casper Events Center.
“We were all in shock. It was sad. We were all disappointed,” Jones said. “It hit the seniors at that moment like, that could have been the last time playing together.
“I never thought my senior season would end like that,” Jones said. “It’s kind of surreal. I’m trying to wrap my head around it all.”
The trio knew they had a chance to make some noise at state heading into state playing the team’s best basketball of the season.
“We gave ourselves a good shot with a two seed,” Jones said.
“We worked really hard. No one expected us to be there this year, and we proved everyone wrong,” Murphy added.
In the end, the three seniors never got to play out the ending of their career, but the trio knows there is nothing that can be done about it.
“It was a weird way to end things,” Firminhac said. “There is not much you can do about it, though.”
All that is left are memories of the four years the seniors had together on the court.
“It was a great four years,” Murphy said. “Me, Jackson and Sam went through high school playing with each other every single year. Last year was a great experience, getting to state and playing in the Events Center. It sucks we don’t get to do that again this year.”
“It was a really great experience playing all four years with guys like Cameron and Sam,” Jones said. “It was really fun.”