• Hopkinton guard Taylor Signor, shown battling three Inter-lakes defenders, was named Division III Player of the Year. File photo

Monitor staff
Published: 4/20/2018 11:09:10 PM

Pat Roye has spent time with plenty of great players over the years. He’s coached boys, girls, college level athletes and everything in between. And still, Roye regards Hopkinton point guard Taylor Signor as the smartest player he’s been around.

“I’ve been around a long time. I’ve been a Division III assistant coach at three colleges, I’ve coached boys, I coached in Connecticut for a couple of years, and (Signor) probably has the highest basketball IQ that I’ve ever coached,” said Roye, the Hopkinton girls’ basketball coach and Division III Coach of the Year. “She sets the tone in practice, is always interested in being prepared for our opponents and is always striving to get better.”

Signor, who Roye refers to as being “innately unselfish,” was named the D-III Player of the Year this past season after averaging 8.8 points per game. Plenty of girls in the area scored more than Signor on a nightly basis, but few displayed the total package like the talented point guard who orchestrated Roye’s offense to perfection and locked down some of the top players in the state.

“To be the player of the year and not put up big offensive numbers, that really shows how much her opponents respected her and I didn’t think there was any question I had the best point guard in the division last year,” Roye said. “If you look back at our season, we had a fair number of close games where down the stretch her teammates completely looked to her for leadership and performance. If we got ahead late in the game, they made sure to put the ball in (Signor’s) hands.”

The blend between Signor and the other four starters on the floor also provided Hopkinton with its most successful season in recent memory.

After winning six games in 2016-17, the Hawks rattled off a 17-5 record this past winter, settling for runner-up in D-III after falling short to Conant, 36-30, in the state title game. Along the way the Hawks picked up tournament wins over Inter-Lakes, No. 3 Newfound and No. 2 Gilford before their Cinderella run fell short.

“As a group, this was probably the most coachable group I’ve had in 20 years. They were just great to work with and Taylor was the leader by example. She really demonstrated how a good player goes about their business every day,” Roye said. “It was an honor to coach her. It was so much fun for our program, community and school for the girls to achieve what they did and she was right at the center of it.”

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