New-look Medomak Valley ready to forge unique identity
Waldoboro — The following is a synopsis of the 2012-13 Medomak Valley High School girls varsity basketball team:
Coach/years coached current team: Randy Hooper, eighth year.
Last year's record/playoff information: 12-6, seventh in Eastern Class B. The Panthers defeated No. 10 Winslow 46-30 in the preliminary round before falling to No. 2 Nokomis of Newport 58-51 in the quarterfinals.
Roster: Seniors Elise Wallace (5-8 forward), Taylor Simmons (5-5 guard), Melissa Philbrook (5-9 forward), Amanda Hendrickson-Belloguet (5-4 guard) and Desiree Benner (5-9 forward); juniors Brooke Benedict (5-4 guard), Taylor Mason (5-6 guard) and Samantha Griffin (5-7 guard); sophomores Hannah Marks (5-10 guard) and Hannah Heald (5-11 forward); and freshman Justice Barrows (6-0 center).
Outlook: Life without standout Alanna Vose begins this year for the Panthers. Vose scored her 1,000th career point in her final game last season and earned numerous accolades, including Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B player of the year in addition to being named Courier Publications' 2011-12 schoolgirl athlete of the year.
"Obviously, the first thing we need to replace is 23 points per game," said Hooper of Vose's scoring average from last year.
Losing Vose means the Panthers will have more of a collaborative scoring attack going forward, as Hooper said "our scoring will be balanced most every night.
Simmons is the team's most experienced returning player, while Hendrickson-Belloguet is "adjusting nicely to playing on the perimeter" and Philbrook "is developing into a strong inside presence," the coach said. Wallace also is a versatile player and will see significant minutes for the Panthers, while Benner returns from a foot injury that sidelined her last year.
Marks, who saw plenty of minutes on the court as a freshman last year, will be the team's new point guard, while Barrows will give the Panthers a presence in the paint.
Medomak Valley can play big or small in stature, which will help the Panthers when adapting to play opponent's different lineups.
And as always, the goal for this year's Panther squad has not changed, namely to advance to the postseason for the fifth straight year.
"Our goal is the same as always, [to] get back to the Bangor Auditorium [and the regional tournament]," said Hooper. "And the best way to do that is to play well enough during the regular season to be in a position to host a prelim [playoff game]."
Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.