Falcon girls' hoop preview
RUMFORD -- A new beginning fosters new goals and expectations to try accomplishing which the Mountain Valley girls' basketball team has been calculating throughout preseason drills.
All of that hard work will be put to the test when the Lady Falcons hit the hardwood in their regular-season opener at Madison.
Mountain Valley is coming off a double-digit win campaign, but the veterans still have a bitter taste to overcome. The season ended abruptly in a Western Maine Class B quarterfinal game. The No. 6 Falcons simply were unable to get on track throughout the game and came up short in a 46-21 loss against No. 3 Greely.
“I'm excited for this season but we need to come ready to play each and every night,” said MV coach Rich Allen. “I would expect this group to be able to do that.”
The roster is basically the same, which includes four returning starters from last year's team that was competitive with every team in the Mountain Valley Conference. The Falcons have developed a strong reputation for their defense and need to limit opposing teams to 30 points per game.
They will be led by a trio of seniors in McKenzie Paterson, Breana Roberts and Lindsay Gallant. The backcourt of Gallant (seven points per game, two assists per game), and Paterson (four ppg, two apg, two steals per game) will be important because the undersized tandem need to control the flow.
At 5-9, Roberts (four ppg., six rebounds per game) will play beside junior Ayla Allen (5-10), who was named first team MVC All Star last year as a sophomore. The bulk of the offense will flow through Allen who recorded a double-double with 15 ppg. and 10 rebounds per game. It’s no secret, so opposing teams will try denying Allen the ball in the paint.
A shortcoming has been the team’s inability to remain focused for the entire 32 minutes without lapsing into stages of being unable to execute. Allen believes the situation has been addressed.
The bench will be deeper this year with juniors Chrissy Briggs (5-9 guard), Kaitlin Armstrong (5-7 guard), and Makayla White (5-5 guard) ready to compete at the varsity level. The continued maturing of sophomore Brooke Dolloff will be a key. Dolloff played a lot of minutes last year in the post position.
Sophomore guards Darbi Brown (5-7) and Abby Day (5-5) and newcomers Tia White (5-4 Sr. guard) and McKenzie Gallant (5-7 so. forward/guard) will each compete for playing time.