Vinalhaven shows improvement, ready to compete
Vinalhaven — The following is a synopsis of the 2013-14 Vinalhaven High School girls basketball team:
Coach/years coached current team: Alan Lazaro, fourth year.
Last year's record/playoff information: 5-13, No. 9 seed in Western Class D playoffs. The Vikings lost to No. 8 Islesboro 47-28 in a preliminary playoff.
Roster: Seniors Eliza Davidson (5-foot 3-inch guard), Ryann Warren (5-6 guard), Ashley Hamilton (5-7 forward), Ellie Reidy (5-9 forward) and Bethany Candage (5-4 guard); juniors Taylor Littlefield (5-6 guard), Virginia Wadleigh (6-0 center/forward) and Ashley Davis-Oakes (5-6 guard/forward); sophomores Andrea Shane (5-8 forward), Skylar Sanborn (5-6 guard), Hannah Noyes (5-5 guard) and Sarah James (5-3 guard); and freshmen Bailey Wadleigh (5-6 guard/forward) and Anna Ames (5-3 guard)
Known graduation losses: None.
Significant impact players: Hamilton, Davidson, Wadleigh, Warren and Littlefield.
Team strengths: Speed and trap defense.
Team goal: To make the second round of the Western Class D playoffs.
Top league opponents: Forest Hills of Jackman, Rangeley, Searsport and Richmond.
Outlook: The Vikings return essentially their entire team from last year, having lost no seniors. Thus, the islanders are a year older, a year wiser and look to have learned from their mistakes last season.
“I think they're going to be quite a bit better this year,” said Lazaro. “They're working well together, they're faster this year and the addition of those two freshmen, especially Bailey Wadleigh, should be a big addition.”
Lazaro said Bailey Wadleigh could have made the team last year as an eighth-grader, but Vinalhaven had a middle school team she played on. He expects Hamilton and Virginia Wadleigh also to be key pieces for the Vikings as “Virginia is probably our most improved [player] of the group.”
“They've all improved a fair amount,” he said. “I think we're going to be a good team.”
Lazaro said he expects his team to “live and die” by man-to-man defense and they will also play a three-quarter court trap defense that overwhelmed some opponents in the preseason.