WILKES-BARRE -- The crowd went wild as Pittston Area's Ellie Bartoli took the court during Monday night’s basketball game against Coughlin High School in Wilkes-Barre.
"It felt amazing! I was really excited for it,” Bartoli said.
Bartoli has been team manager for the Pittston Area Patriots for two years.
She's listed as a player too, but this was her first chance to play in a game.
"This is why we coach. You know wins and losses are big, but it's the human part of it and life lessons” said her coach Kathy Healey with tears in her eyes.
"It's everything we've ever wanted for her, you know?" said Ellie’s father, Frank Bartoli.
Ellie Bartoli has Down Syndrome, but those who know her say nothing can stop her.
This fall, she was crowned homecoming queen at Pittston Area.
She's competitive and energetic and has a lot of support from family and friends.
"She's such a joy to have in the gym every day. I don't think she missed a practice. She's there. She puts her time in She’s truly one of my closest friends I'd say I have and she deserves this tonight,” said teammate Taryn Ashby.
Ellie went in at the end of the game. She scored 10 points against Coughlin, and after each bucket, there were big cheers from the crowd.
It was nothing but love from everyone. Patriots and Crusaders alike posed for pictures together after the game.
"It felt great that they were all there for me and having their support,” said Ellie.
"This has been such an amazing experience for Ellie. Coach Healey and all the coaching staff and the entire team have made the last two years of Ellie's high school an amazing experience,” said Ellie’s mom, Eileen Bartoli.