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Jamera Fountain rose to the challenge for the Fairfield Warde girls basketball team this winter.

A senior captain, Fountain was a catalyst in turning Warde's season around. After a 1-4 start, coach Dave Danko moved her from shooting guard to point guard.

The Mustangs won nine of their next 10 games, with Fountain playing a major role in their success. Warde was also in the mix for an FCIAC playoff berth before falling short on the last day of the regular season.

"It felt good to know I was a part of something successful and the winning streak felt good," Fountain said. "I knew I had to step it up for my team."

Danko said, "Jamera basically carried us this year. We needed a point guard, and she stepped in and fulfilled our needs."

Before Danko made the move, Fountain was a shooting guard. She felt comfortable at both positions. Overall, she averaged 11 points, four assists and three steals per game.

"The point guard is the toughest place to play in my offense, and she stepped it up well and fulfilled our needs," Danko said. "We felt more comfortable when we put Jamera at the point."

Although Fountain thrived, her main focus was the team's success, The Mustangs fell short of the FCIACs, but she was able to shake it off.

"It was tough [not making FCIACs], but I knew we had to keep our heads up," Fountain said.

Those who made the selections for the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) All-Star game recognized what Fountain has accomplished, and chose her to play in its Class L-LL All-Star game.

And Fountain proved she deserved to be ther, hitting two 3-pointers for the West All-Stars in her first stint on the floor at North Branford High School.

"I knew I had to step it up and my 3-balls were going to be good," Fountain said. "I had to play hard."

Her two treys gave the West a 12-8 lead over the East. In the end, the East prevailed, 78-67.

Fountain especially played well on defense, and finished the game with three rebounds and two steals.

"We were playing against some good girls, and I had to play hard defensively," Fountain said.

Overall, Fountain had eight points. She hit a layup with 18:15 remaining in the game, which gave the West a 46-40 lead.

Playing for the West All-Stars is something Fountain savored.

"It felt great to play in the game," Fountain said. "It was a great experience, and I felt honored to play with some talented girls."

Fountain transferred to Warde sophomore year after attending Bullard Haven as a freshman. Adjusting to her new school wasn't a problem for her.

"When I first went to Warde, I saw it was a must faster pace, and I learned a lot at Warde," Fountain said. "It's very tough leaving, and I wish I had one more year, but I'll take what I learned to college. I learned if you want to be great, you have to work hard because nothing is handed to you."

Danko will also miss her.

"I wish I had her for one more year," he said. "She can play at the Division II or Division III level, and she'll be very effective in the right college program."

Fountain plans to play in college and has whittled down her choice to Emmanuel College in Boston, LaSalle University in Philadelphia and Mount St. Mary's in Newburgh, N.Y. She plans on majoring in psychology and will work on her game.

"I have to work hard all around because everything can improve," Fountain said.