GIRLS BASKETBALL

Chesterton’s Puntillo to end career after senior season

2014-01-13T17:15:00Z 2014-01-13T18:49:28Z Chesterton’s Puntillo to end career after senior seasonMichael Raines Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 13, 2014 5:15 pm  • 

CHESTERTON | When considering athletics and academics, ending a sports career in favor of an exceptional learning experience isn’t a decision to be made lightly.

That’s the conclusion Chesterton senior Caroline Puntillo has come to, however. After the end of this girls basketball season, Puntillo will hang up her sneakers for good.

“I definitely looked into the option of playing in college,” Puntillo said. “I talked to a few coaches. But after thinking about it and after talking to my parents, I’ve decided that I’m not going to play next year.”

The decision wasn’t an easy one to make, but Puntillo feels her future academic program — some potential combination of business and physical therapy — will require her undivided attention.

“I always said that I was going to pick a school academically first and then if I was able to play basketball at that school, that would be a plus,” Puntillo said. “There were a few places that I would be able to go to play basketball and go to school at a good school, but I think ultimately I just realized that I was going to have to give it up eventually, whether it was now or in four years.

“I decided I just wanted to focus more on school and the future.”

Puntillo hasn’t made a decision about which institution she’ll attend, but she expects to start hearing back from schools to which she has applied in March. In the meantime, the senior is enjoying a season that has seen her average nearly 20 points per game for the 7-7 Trojans.

“She’s a competitor. She’s what I would call a true scorer,” coach Jack Campbell said. “She finds many different ways of scoring points. She’s not just a standing shooter; she can take it to the basket it, she can dribble (into a) jump shot, she’ll post up. She can score about any way that you give her an opportunity to score.”

Anchoring a roster that overall is on the short side, the 5-foot-9 Puntillo has had an opportunity to run her own version of the inside-out offense. She posts up when needed, but is also able to get outside and knock down a 3-pointer or two.

“Coach Campbell and I talk a lot about the positions he’s going to need me to play. Because we don’t have a lot of height, we’ve definitely talked a lot about working in the post,” Puntillo said. “I worked a lot on my strength in the offseason and on my conditioning. I got in the weight room and then worked a lot of post moves, learning what it would be like to play against (more traditional) post players.”

Puntillo’s hard work has been paying dividends on the court, where she recently passed 2001 graduate Christy Poparad for seventh place in school history in career points. Her offensive prowess has been on display often this season, especially during a 23-point effort against Roosevelt when the Trojans scored a school-record 92 points. The scoring outburst broke the old record of 89 points set against Calumet in 1995.

“It was pretty cool. It was a total team game,” Puntillo said. “We played really well together. When we can play together like that, working together as a team, we’re a lot better. We had lost twice to Valpo in the same week. It was not fun, practices were not fun. We wanted to prove that is not how we play.”

With six games remaining on the schedule before the sectional, Puntillo is looking to leave a lasting impression on the Trojans program. No matter how the season ends, Campbell knows Puntillo will leave the legacy of a true student-athlete.

“She’s an outstanding student. Her parents both went to Notre Dame, so obviously they’re very academically oriented,” Campbell said. “I know she probably has pretty high aspirations as far as academics and what she wants to do with her life.”

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best football team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers