Girls varsity basketball coach assesses the year
The Martha's Vineyard Regional High School varsity girls basketball team closed out its season on February 23 with a heartbreaking loss to a feisty Norton team on a last second 3 pointer, 46-44.
The Vineyard led the game the whole first half, but seemed to lose its momentum when sophomore sensation Jennie Lindland went down with a knee injury and had to leave the game for good. We rely on "Chief," Jillian Sedlier, to be our offensive leader, but Jennie provides the defensive spark that feeds our offense, and she was having a terrific game, wreaking havok and scoring 8 points off steals. The wind kind of came out of our sails after she went down.
The outcome had an all too familiar feel for the girls. Their 6-14 record is not indicative of their gutsy play throughout the season. Our schedule was particularly difficult this year, not only being in the very strong EAC but also playing perennial powerhouses like Wareham, Scituate, Marshfield, and Duxbury was a Division One-like challenge for us.
That being said, however, we averaged only three points less than our opponents all season, losing in double overtime, by two on a buzzer beater, and losing by one or two points several times when we had had a chance. The girls showed tremendous heart all season and I'm proud of what they accomplished, especially at the end of the season where we went 4-3. They never gave up.
We held a pre-game ceremony to honor five seniors: Captains Jillian Sedlier (among the EAC leading scorers with a 14 points-per-game average) and Alicia Oliveira, Crystal Miske, Molly Fischer and Maddie Penicaud. Our senior class members have been role models for the younger players, especially my own daughter. Three of these girls have been with me for four years and two for three, so I have gotten to know them pretty well and am so impressed by who they are as competitors, but especially by their character. I will miss them all very much.
Next year looks good
The team will welcome back a strong core of players for next year, including juniors Madison Hughes, Alex Mark, and Sarah Williston; sophomores Jennie Lindland, Kendall Robinson, Katie Stewart, and Maggie Riseborough; and freshman Kat deBettencourt. We should be very competitive. This class is the first to have played competitively in the Cape Cod League before high school and it really shows in their poise and basketball savvy.
Lisa Stewart is the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School basketball coach.