WESTMINSTER -- The Bellows Falls varsity basketball teams begin their respective seasons with openers that will be held on Saturday, with the boys hosting Black River at 2:30, and the girls traveling to MSJ for a 2 o’clock jump ball.
After a lackluster performance and some internal team turbulence last year, coach Evan Chadwick and his Terriers basketball team have set their hopes high this season.
"All the boys know that we underachieved last year," said Chadwick, whose team went 7-13 and fell to U32 in the first round. "The boys are working hard this preseason to ensure this does not happen again."
A recent scrimmage against the Hinsdale Pacers was valuable, according to Chadwick. "It showed us what our strengths are and more importantly, what our weaknesses are," he said.
Chadwick described his team this time around as a very athletic bunch who should become a commanding presence on the floor, and expects the crew be led offensively by David Dunbar, Kendrick Mills, and team captain, Jake Mead.
The BF coach is eager to see how all the team’s preseason prep has paid off, and he couldn’t he happier to once again be at the helm. "I am proud to be allowed to lead this fine group of young men."
Coach -- Evan Chadwick. Players - David Dunbar, Colby Howe, Connor Neathawk, Zac Streeter, Brenden Kelly, Jerimiah Dunbar, Chris Mckeen, Brian McAnuff, Kendrick Mills, Joe White, Avery Perry, Nathan Milliken, Jake Mead, Zach Brooks.
The girls will look to point guard Chelsea Wilder to guide the Terriers this year.
"Wilder is a very hard worker who is very fast," said first-year head coach Joe Goodhue. "She can hit the 3-pointer too."
Goodhue also described Wilder as a tenacious defender, and that should play well into what teammate Emily Dufault will also offer with her versatility in the center and at post.
"Dufault is our go-to girl and we expect great things from her," said Goodhue. "She has the heart to deliver and succeed."
Also helping to control the center is Emily Perry. Perry was a JV/Varsity swing player until this year. She’ll play point if Wilder gets into foul trouble or needs a break, noted Goodhue.
Off the bench, the Terriers coach said freshmen Murphy Hicks and Hannah Kelly should offer up some excitement. "After their second day of practice I knew these girls were varsity material," he said. Goodhue credits the team’s progress so far to summer camps he would host with a focus for the players on how to read opponent defenses.
Speaking of defense, Bellows Falls will rely on captain Shealyn Wilkinson’s skills in this department, while Kaitlin Terry’s towering height should provide additional coverage under the hoop.
The girls finished 4-16 last season, and like the boys, were knocked out of the first round by U32.
"We are working well together as a unit," said Goodhue. "We don’t have a regimented offense, so I let the players use their skills as they see fit."
Coach - Joe Goodhue. Players - Chelsea Wilder, Shealyn Wilkinson-captain, Emily Perry, Emily Dufault-captain, Stephanie Parsons, Molly Dufault, Kaitlin Terry, Murphy Hicks, Hannah Kelly.
David Aquino can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.