Bishop Brady senior eager to lead new-look girls’ basketball team

  • Bishop Brady’s Sarah Doherty (10) drives to the basket during a quarterfinal game against Hollis-Brookline last season at Bishop Brady High School. Doherty is one of three returning senior starters for the Green Giants this year. Elizabeth Frantz / Monitor file

  • Bishop Brady’™s Sam Will (4) follows through on a shot during the championship game of the Capital Area Holiday Tournament at NHTI in Concord last season. A Division II All-State First Team player during the 2016-17 campaign, Will returns for her senior season as the offensive centerpiece for the Green Giants. Elizabeth Frantz photos / Monitor file

  • Bishop Brady’s Lauren Roy (15) goes up for a shot during last season’s quarterfinal playoff game against Hollis-Brookline.

Monitor staff
Published: 12/8/2017 12:51:29 AM

At first glance, it’s difficult to call a team with three returning senior starters inexperienced, especially when one of those players is Sam Will. But when more than half the roster is comprised of underclassmen and first-year transfers like it is for the Bishop Brady girls’ basketball team, it’s difficult to call the Green Giants anything else.

“We have two transfers and five freshmen on the varsity team this year,” second-year Brady coach Annie Alosa said. “So with half of our kids being underclassmen, seven of them being key influential pieces to our puzzle this year, I really want to say we’re young and inexperienced. Some people probably think I’m lying when I say that, but we’re learning a new style.”

Coming off a 16-2 regular season, a berth to the tournament as the No. 3 seed and an appearance in the quarterfinals a year ago, the Green Giants shook up Division II with a fast-paced, up-tempo style of basketball.

Alosa doesn’t expect that tempo to change. She’s also not expecting this year’s group to immediately pick up where last year’s team left off.

“I think every year brings its challenges and you always have to reteach and clean up,” Alosa said. “I do think this year our culture is established. So to really lay those building blocks of our system is a little bit easier because there’s a culture of Brady girls basketball now.”

Filling the voids left behind by 1,000-point scorer Riley Bennett and tenacious rebounder Cait Mallahan certainly won’t be easy, but having its own “Big Three” with D-II All State First Team wing Will, speedy guard Lauren Roy and long-range threat Sarah Doherty makes the transition a whole lot smoother for Brady.

“Offensively, (Will) is going to score for us. She loves to shoot the ball so that’s kind of a no-brainer,” Alosa said. “But having Sarah and Lauren complement her, that’s a very dynamic three-guard set there and obviously with new kids subbing in and filling roles and different positions, I think it could all turn out pretty good for us.”

Will alone is enough to scare opposing defenses.

The senior is coming off a season where she was a nightly double-double threat, averaging 18 points and 12 rebounds per contest. Will’s already committed to Division I’s Cornell, she can score from anywhere on the floor and she’s only getting better.

“She plays daily. Her game has really taken a huge leap,” Alosa said. “She’s dynamic with her shot right now and I think it has come really far and she is shooting in a variety of ways. She’s really put the time in and as a senior, and for the three seniors, I just want this year for them to be a time to shine.”

“We’ve really been working on catching the ball outside on the 3-point line and being able to create your own offense from it,” Will said. “So dribbling by a defender, pulling up for a jump shot or a stepping back, so a lot more kinds of shots.”

Will’s development on her triple-threat game is only going to make her more dangerous as the Green Giants’ offensive centerpiece, but she knows she can’t win alone. Doherty and Roy are huge pieces, but even that’s not enough to get where Brady wants to be at the end of the season.

“We do have a lot of building to do, a lot of growth for the (young girls) because for the past few weeks we’ve been cramming their heads with fundamentals, not just offenses, but defense and the way we like to play: We like to run and get out in transition,” Will said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the start of our season is a little rocky,” Will added. “But once we can get some confidence into our younger kids and get them feeling comfortable, I think things will start to flow.”

Brady opens the season Tuesday at home against Lebanon and Alosa was still unsure how the rest of her lineup and rotation would shape out.

But not because of a lack of options.

Junior forwards Emily St. Arnaud, Abby Tremblay and Ariel Bergeron are all likely to see minutes, while sophomores Marissa Payne (forward) and Kaylee Smith (guard), as well as freshmen Ami Rivera (guard), Halle Laramie (guard/forward), Jayden Johnson (guard/forward), Riley Marsh (guard/forward) and Abby Shagena (guard) are all fighting for a role on the team.

“It kind of depends on the night and how we develop,” Alosa said. “We’re just kind of watching everybody. … I think it’s kind of anyone’s game. We usually go seven or eight deep in a game and I think those spots are up for grabs and it changes daily. We have a ton of talent and energy in our youth and I think we’re going to use that to our advantage.”

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3371, or on Twitter @JayMcAree.)

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