Mallards have leadership and are confident going into 2012-13 season
Worcester Prep girls’ basketball Coach Page Watts Rogers chats with players during Monday’s practice at the Berlin school. (Right) Worcester Prep senior captain Molly Marshall (3) and sophomore Cecily Sass battle for the ball during practice.OCEAN CITY TODAY/LISA CAPITELLI(Nov. 23, 2012) Worcester Prep girls’ basketball Coach Page Watts Rogers has 10 Lady Mallards on her roster this year, eight of whom competed for her last season.
“This year we’re more top heavy with juniors and seniors. We have a lot of leadership and a lot more confidence because we have so many returners,” said the third-year coach. “We can pick up where we left off last year and that’s a big help. We don’t have to spend time on the fundamentals and Xs and Os. We’re already in a really good place.”
Leading the squad will be its two senior captains, Molly Marshall and Meredith Smith, both four-year players. Rogers said having two strong forwards will be a key factor in the team’s success. Marshall and Smith were captains last year, as well.
With her experience, Marshall said she can help and encourage her teammates.
“The first day of practice I was a little nervous, but we’ve gotten a lot better,” Marshall said. “We have the same group as last year so we should be pretty good.”
Veterans also back to compete include sophomore point guards Sophie Brennan, the team’s leading scorer as a freshman last year, and Molly Soulé, as well as junior guards Lilly DiNardo and Frankie Willing and sophomore forward Cecily Sass.
The team welcomes two newcomers, point guard Meg Lingo, a junior, who played on JV last year, and freshman forward Grace Tunis.
The Mallards are known for their stellar defense and will again be strong in the back court. The girls have speed, athleticism and endurance, Rogers said, which is why the team will full-court press and play man-to-man defense a majority of the time.
“We’re not known for being good shooters so we have to make up for it on the defensive end. We are getting better. Our shooting is the best it has been,” Rogers said. “The girls have drive and motivation. This should be our year to do well because of all the returning players and senior leadership.”
The Mallards finished the 2011-12 season with a 6-12 record, falling to the Sts. Peter & Paul Sabres 35-25 during first-round action of the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference tournament. Worcester received the ESIAC sportsmanship award at the end of the season and Brennan was awarded All- Conference Honorable Mention accolades.