Falcon girls' basketball preview
RUMFORD -- A major objective of any team is to continue improving and Mountain Valley is no exception.
However, the players realize that the flow in girls' basketball is always changing. Therefore, everyone needs to be on the same page in striving toward the next step. The Lady Falcons began their latest quest in a season home opener against Winthrop. Previous teams have proven to be competitive in the Mountain Valley Conference, but the seasons have ended abruptly against unfamiliar teams in the Western Maine Class B playoffs.
''We are setting our goals high this year and want to definitely go beyond a prelim game," said coach Tammy Gallant. "We are really looking for our seniors to take leadership roles. All four seniors will play a key part to the success of our program.'' The senior captains will have strong roles and be counted on for leadership, with Brooke Dolloff (5-10 forward/center), Makenzie Gallant (5-8 forward), Darbi Brown (5-7 guard) and Addy Gorham (5-11 center).
Dolloff and Gorham will be the twin towers in the middle.
The Falcons have always had a strong defense and that will be focus on because it leads to a transition offense. Junior Jena Ploude at nearly six feet will help. A trio of guards who will add depth are Katie Puiia (5-4), Brena Brown (5-5)' and Nichole Couch (5-5).
MV opened up the offense ast season and averaged 52 points a game, including draining five three-pointers a game. The fast-paced action liimited the defense, which allowed 41 points per game.
“We are working hard as a team,'' said coach Gallant. ''We want to push the ball up the court this year and focus on doing the basics well. We'd like for them to shoot the ball and not be afraid to deviate from the play if they have an open look.''
The key losses were starters Ayla Allen, Kaitlin Armstrong, Chrissy Briggs and Makayla White.
New players who could contribute include juniors Kaitlyn Virgin (5-6 forward) and Shannon Laubauskas (5-5 guard), sophomores Abby Parent (5-6 forward) and Adelle Oswald (5-4 guard), and freshmen Sydney Petrie (5-9 forward) and Karen Flaherty (5-4 guard). Gallant said the program is very fortunate this year to have former boys' coach Ryan Casey join the coaching staff, with assistance from Craig Milledge and Kevin Gallant.
''The girls are responding well to the changes and challanges ahead of them. Our goal is to be in better shape than our opponents, so conditioning within drills will be a big focus in practice this year,'' said coach Gallant.