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Cougar girls' hoop preview
DIXFIELD -- In girls' basketball, the action can change at any given time and teams need to be aware of what can transpire. The ability to deal with potential adverse conditions is what the Dirigo Cougars need to guard against this season.
The Lady Cougars achieved some success last year, 12-4 record during the regular season and entered the playoffs with some momentum. They beat Jay in the quarterfinals 42-23, but lost to regional champion Madison by 40-24 in the semifinals.
“We are young,” said coach Reggie Weston. “One senior and only three saw a lot of action last year.”
The lone Sr. Hannah Knight (5-7 guard/forward), will be a key fixture in the offense. Last year, she led the team in steals and scoring with 10.9 points a game.
“We will continue to work hard on defense, rebounding, ball handling skills and outside shooting. We will need to continue working on physical and mental toughness,” said Weston.
The returning lettermen include five juniors, led by Aylssa Wade, who is a 5-7 guard/forward. She was fifth in rebounds, steals and in scoring 3 ppg. Paige Murphy is a 5-4 guard with 2.3 steals a game. Erin Turner is a 5-4 guard/forward, who was very good defensively. Miranda Shurtleff, a 5-6 guard/forward, missed time with a thumb injury last season but is considered an offensive threat.
The tallest player is Angela Ronan, a 5-11 center/forward, who was sidelined most of last season with an injury. She can score inside while utilizing her size to defend opposing centers and rebound.
The lack of size may hinder the Cougars if teams play a half-court game and work the ball inside. The defensive game will need to be relentless and force turnovers, in order to create a strong transition game.
There are several players who were swingers on the JV and varsity last year. Jr. Larissa Bryant (5-7 guard/forward), is a shooting threat. Sophomores include Ambyr Wilson (5-7 guard/forward), an intense defensive player. Kayla Gaudin (5-8 forward) can score inside or outside. Lexi Noyes (5-1 guard) is scrappy underneath. Natasha DeRoche (5-4 guard) is a shooter and can handle the ball very well. Natalie Bolduc (5-3 guard) has plenty of speed and Gretchen Bradbury (5-5 forward) likes to crash for rebounds and post up very well.
Freshman Lindsy Crutchfield (5-4 guard) sees the floor well, always looking for an assist.