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Returnees ready to make marks – Boston Herald



Andover’s 43-40 loss to Springfield Central in last year’s Div. 1 state title bout stung the Golden Warriors, but with seven returning players, including five seniors, expect another strong campaign in 2023.

“I think the road we have to get through to get to (another state title game), will include some twists and turns and certainly last year we came up a little short,” said Andover coach Alan Hibino. “If we had another couple of minutes, we might have made it over the hump. We are so excited and just like every other team we worked hard in the offseason.”

Senior captains Anna Foley, Amelia Hanscom, Marissa Kobelski and Kathleen Yates are more than up for the task while point guard Michaela Buckley is the perfect complement to the calming presence of Foley and Hanscom.

In a very strong Merrimack Valley, Central Catholic will be a tough out come playoff time, as will Chelmsford and Billerica. The Raiders return Kathleen Smith, Samantha Guertin and Shea Montague.

Newton North fielded a competitive 12-12 team last season in the Bay State Conference and returns several key contributors including seniors Abigail Wright and Lara Aguzzi, juniors Maggie Scanlon, Nadia Briggs and Helen Ruane, and sophomore PG Devon Burke. Brookline and Framingham will also be in the Bay State hunt.

Catholic Central squad Bishop Feehan returns its top two scorers in sophomore Charlotte Adams and senior captain Sammy Reale. The Shamrocks also return senior captain Mary Daley, a huge part of their defensive identity. Sophomore guard Maddy Steel, junior forward Julia Webster and senior captain Olivia Franciscus will also be in the mix.

Lincoln-Sudbury has three Dual County League All-Stars in seniors Abby Cushing, Katie Rapisarda and Franklie Liu; sophomore Evie Schwartz is a returning starter for a team that lost just one senior from 2022.

Franklin senior Katie Peterson and sophomore point guard Chloe Fales will be key players as the Panthers pursue a Hockomock League title.

Peabody lost three seniors with only one of them being a starter. Now it’s seniors Taylor Bettencourt, Lauryn Mendonca and Isabel Bettencourt, with juniors Abby Bettencourt and Logan Lomasney (last year’s NEC MVP) creating a very strong core group of the seven returnees.

In the Southeast Conference, Bridgewater-Raynham will return senior Emma Flaherty, juniors Natalia Hall-Rosa (numerous scholarship offers including UMass, Stonehill, Bryan and UNH) and Resse Bartlett and sophomores Brenna Woodbury and Jenna Micciantuono.

Woburn is a Middlesex League favorite as Cyndea Labissiere and Meghan Qualey lead an experienced squad.

Coming off a Div. 2 championship run, Oliver Ames will be under first-year coach Brittany Engle. With only four varsity returners in senior captains Maddie Homer and Sarah Hilliard mixed with junior captain Kaydance Derba and senior Grace Dupill, the Tigers will rely on less-experienced players.

Div. 2 runner-up Norwood has juniors Tricia Wladkowski, Alexa Coras and Lauren Reen return as former Norwood boys coach Kristen McDonnell is back coaching girls after three years running a successful Mustangs boys’ squad.

In the Tri-Valley League, senior captain and dynamic scoring guard Kate Olenik returns as one of the best players in the state for Medfield. Olenik will be play at Colby College next year. Westwood and Ashland will also be challengers.

In the Cape Ann League, Pentucket is returning nine players, with three being CAL All Stars in CAL Player of the Year senior Abby Dube, senior guard Alyssa Thompson and junior guard Gabby Bellacqua.

Newburyport has three returning four-year players in senior captains Emma Foley (averaged 19 points/10 rebounds in her junior campaign), Deirdre McElhinney and Makenna Ward. Juniors Olivia McDonald and Brela Pavao solidify the Clippers.

North Quincy, from the Patriot League, may have former star Orlagh Gormley with Dexter Southfield, but junior captain Ava Bryan is ready to lead her team back to a deep playoff run. Senior captain Bridget Capone is an elite defender and also a Patriot League All-Star like Bryan. Juniors Molly Tolland, Mary Saccoach, Jillian Jaenigh and Autumn O’Campos are ready to step up.

Whitman-Hanson is a young team with just one senior to go along with six sophomores and three freshmen, but senior captain Caitlin Leahy and sophomores Lillie MacKinnon and Taryn Leonard are players to watch for the Panthers.

In the Bay State Conference, Walpole has seniors Brooke Walonis, Haley Brigham and Catie Hurley along with sophomore guard Izzy Adams.

Dracut should also be a team on everyone’s radar with six seniors including Ashlee Talbot, Brodie Gannon, Emma Felker and MacKenzie Murphy.

DIV. 1 PLAYERS TO WATCH

C: Anna Foley (Andover), Maeve Moriarty (Plymouth North)

F: Reese Bartlett (Bridgewater-Raynham), Abby Bettencourt (Peabody), Akiyah Brown (Lynn Classical), Michaela Buckley (Andover), Emily Collins (Winchester), Marissa Kobelski (Andover), Madi Forman (Natick), Sophie Hilbrunner (Waltham), Alyssa Hopps (Quincy), Alisha Jean (Lynn English), Allison Jones (Wellesley), Frankie Liu (Lincoln-Sudbury), Lauryn Mendonca (Peabody), Selena Monestime (Framingham), Bella O’Brien (Medford), Mya Hayes Pauette (Durfee), Jaeleigh Perry (Lynn English), Haley Phillips (Haverhill), Katie Peterson (Franklin), Samantha Pfeil (Methuen), Meghan Qualey (Woburn), Kathleen Smith (Central Catholic), Alanna Saunders (Westford Academy), Caroline Tracey (Quincy), Laila Washington (Cambridge), Emilie Zinda (Waltham)

G: Charlotte Adams-Lopez (Bishop Feehan), Taylor Bettencourt (Peabody), Taylor Brilliant (Marshfield), Vanessa Bucha (New Bedford), Geanna Bryant (Brookline), Lauren Choy (Boston Latin), Stella Criniti (Lexington), Abby Cushing (Lincoln-Sudbury), Mary Daley (Bishop Feehan), Megan Doyle (Weymouth), Chloe Egan (Barnstable), Maddy Genser (Newton South), Samantha Guertin (Central Catholic), Natalia Hall-Rosa (Bridgewater-Raynham0, Amelia Hanscom (Andover), Bleu Kerr (Boston Latin), Cyndea Labissiere (Woburn), Bridget Leo (Franklin), Logan Lomasney (Peabody), Hannah Martin (North Andover), Margo Mattes (Brookline), Tyanna Medina (Lawrence), Shea Montague (Central Catholic), Tatum Murray (Newton South), Karleigh Mutch (Concord-Carlisle), Nylah Ollivierre (Beverly), Lacey Pare (Lowell), Shannon Patrick (Acton-Boxboro), Stella Procope (Lowell), Brooke Pulpi (Reading), Morgan Ranucci (Waltham), Katie Rapisarda (Lincoln-Sudbury), Sammy Reale (Bishop Feehan), Katie Regan (Framingham), Jackie Rogers (North Andover), Kayley Rossi (Everett), Ellie Savitscus (Hingham), Alexia Thompson (New Bedford), Ava Thurman (Lynn Classical), Abby Wager (Mansfield), Jahnae Williams (Cambridge), Abigail Wright (Newton North)

DIV. 2 PLAYERS TO WATCH

C: Jasmine Davis (Sharon)

F: Ava Bryan (North Quincy), Katherine Cheesebro (Dartmouth), Emma Foley (Newburyport), Marina Greaney (Bedford), Melissa Leone (Ashland), Deanna Linscott (Pembroke), Sydney Poor (Bedford), Emma Rojik (Scituate), Sam Ryan (Tewksbury), Kailey Sullivan (Foxboro), Tricia Wladkowski (Norwood)

G: Izzy Adams (Walpole), Gabby Bellacqua (Pentucket), Taylor Bovardi (Masconomet), Haley Brigham (Walpole), Bridget Capone (North Quincy), Megan Casey (Melrose), Camryn Collins (Foxboro), Ava Connaughton (Westwood), Ella Damon (Dighton-Rehoboth), Kaydence Derba (Oliver Ames), Abby Dube (Pentucket), Brodie Gannon (Dracut), Sarah Kenney (Plymouth South), Lucy Latour (Dighton-Rehoboth), Caitlin Leahy (Whitman-Hanson), Teagan Lind (Falmouth), Elaysia Lung (Revere), Kat MacDonald (Tewksbury), Amaya McConney (Salem), Deirdre McElhinney (Newburyport), Grace McNamara (Scituate), Sofia Mazzotta (Billerica), Kate Olenik (Medfield), Ava Orlando (Notre Dame Hingham), Elle Orlando (Notre Dame Hingham), Alyvia Pena (Burlington), Savanna Scali (Burlington), Emma Shinney (Wakefield), Sofia Smith (Melrose), Ashlee Talbot (Dracut), Alyssa Thompson (Pentucket), Mary Toland (North Quincy), Makenna Ward (Newburyport)



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