Winter Sports Report: Otter Valley girls’ basketball
BRANDON — The move from Division II to Division III may be more of a lateral move for the Otter Valley Union High School girls’ basketball team this year.
While they will no longer have to travel to Brattleboro and Mount Anthony, they will have to deal with strong teams in Lake Region, Windsor and Thetford. Still, shorter bus trips to away games can’t hurt.
Third-year coach Kelley Trayah has all of his starters back this year, including five seniors and four juniors.
“It will definitely help, especially with travel,” Trayah said. “When you have to travel two and a half hours, it takes a lot to get into the game.”
Seniors Julia Eastman and Aliah Edmunds are team captains this year, hopefully leading the squad back to the playoffs. Last year, the 14th-seeded Otters lost by single digits to Lake Region, which lost to Fair Haven in the Division II final.
Mary Kingsley, Livia Bernhardt and Leah Pinkowski round out the seniors. Juniors Bonnie Moore, Mallory Lufkin, Mia Politano and Madeleine O’Connell are also on board. The team also has sophomore Alice Keith and freshman Anna Lee.
Trayah has a few other weapons in addition to experience, including Lee, who not only grew taller over the summer, but brings solid shooting and versatility to the team.
In fact, Trayah said the whole team has the ability to play multiple positions with skill.
“We’re well-balanced,” he said. “Our guards have developed their outside shot, so we can be a duel threat, not just inside.”
But what may be the OV girls’ biggest asset is their attitude.
“They’re invested and our seniors are motivated,” Trayah said. “They know this is it and they want to get to Barre. Our goal for wins is to be over .500. We have a shift in energy. Our seniors have renewed energy and it’s contagious. I’m looking forward to this year.”
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