While many packages depend on seniors this time of 12 months, Whitman-Hanson is discovering success with younger expertise.
Highlighted by sophomore guard Dylan Hurley and its 4 junior captains, Whitman-Hanson enters the house stretch of the MIAA common season atop the Patriot League Keenan with a 13-2 (12-2) file.
The most spectacular side of the Panthers success is that its roster has no seniors. It’s a well-recognized sample: final season the Panthers simply had one senior, captain Caitlin Leahy.
“Early on I knew we would be pretty good,” Costa mentioned. “We had experience coming back in the aspect these girls played when they were freshmen and sophomores. Caitlin was certainly a key loss, but we knew we had good pieces coming to fill that void.”
All 4 of its captains — Taryn Leonard, Lille MacKinnon, Cassidy Briggs, and Kennedy Frazier — are juniors. MacKinnon is the crew’s glue at each ends of the ground together with her nightly double-figure scoring whereas guarding the opposing crew’s greatest participant. Leonard, in the meantime, averages seven factors and rebounds per recreation.
Sophomore Jenna Mishou is the crew’s main rebounder. Defense has been the crew’s calling card with the Panthers holding opponents to 38 factors an evening.
Despite the Panthers youth, they’ve proven the resilience of a veteran crew on a number of events. On Jan. 23, Whitman-Hanson trailed Hanover by 18 factors solely to return storming again with Mishou scoring the sport winner. Then, on Jan. 26, a 12-point second half deficit to Plymouth North changed into an extra time victory led by MacKinnon.
“When I took over the job here a few years ago, the mindset was to build a young team,” Costa mentioned. “We wanted to build a foundation really from the ground up. Last year we only had one senior, this year we had none. It provides the best of both worlds where you’re good and you are young.”
Two seasons in the past, the Panthers reached the state semifinals earlier than succumbing within the Round of 16 a season in the past. This time round, Costa is hoping challenges just like the one set for Feb. 12 in opposition to Bishop Fenwick primes his group for a state event run. Overall, nonetheless, all eyes are centered on clinching the college’s third consecutive league title.
“We’ve been focused on containing the ball on defense and then ball security at the offensive end as we get ready for the home stretch,” Costa mentioned. “We’ve been in a ton of tight games which you hope pays off come the end of the season.”
Andover accomplished its march to the highest of the Merrimack Valley Conference on Friday.
Despite coming into the season unranked, and largely counting on the play of youthful gamers, the Golden Warriors claimed the MVC Large championship on Friday with a 74-62 win over Lowell. The No. 3 Golden Warriors have a pair of wins over Central Catholic, a win over Lawrence and North Andover, and now a victory over the aforementioned Red Raiders.
The first 12 months on the helm for Jalen Aho has been nothing wanting successful. Under Aho’s stewardship, the Masconomet women have claimed a share of the Northeastern Conference title. The place on the prime of the league comes a 12 months after the Chieftains graduated three of their starters.