Winter Sports Report: Mount Abe girls’ basketball

BRISTOL — Almost all the players have graduated from the Mount Abraham Union girls’ basketball teams that won the 2018 Division II title and then earned the top seed in 2019 before being upset in a close semifinal.
But Coach Connie LaRose is not complaining. She has what she calls an enjoyable, energetic team that she believes will at the least hold its own.
“I think we’re going to be fun to watch. I think they’re going to be fun to coach,” LaRose said. “What more can you ask for?”
The Eagles could also be a little deeper this year, allowing more substitutions and a quicker tempo.
“Our goal is to go hard, go fast and get a break,” LaRose said.
Returning to run the show after a strong season a year ago is senior point guard Chloe Johnston. Another senior is new to the team, swing player Jessica Colbeth, whose passing and court sense LaRose said would be valuable.
Sophomore Abby Reen will start in the backcourt and should contribute scoring and two-way play, and LaRose said she will look to junior Savannah Scrodin for shut-down defense in the backcourt. Juniors Karissa Livingston and Emily Crowe will back up the guards, and freshmen Maddie Gile and Maia Jensen could work their way into the backcourt rotation.
Junior Cami Masse and sophomore Grace Harvey, both of them strong athletes, are probable starters at forward, while LaRose said Marley Keith would either start or likely be the first forward off the bench. Senior Nekaiya Shine, if healthy, and junior Allison Weston provide more depth in the frontcourt, and LaRose said sophomore Genevieve Jackman could also see time.
LaRose said many of the Eagles are going to play.
“I think one strength is going to be, once we get into shape and learn to play with each other, is going to be our depth,” said LaRose, who listed quickness and hopefully defense and rebounding as other Eagle assets.
She acknowledged her team is young and that Division-II will be challenging, with many contenders returning key players. But she’ll be happy to put her Eagles on the floor.
“My goal is that we compete, that we compete every game,” LaRose said. “I think realistically we could be a .500 team, and maybe better.”

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