BRATTLEBORO -- The Leland & Gray girls basketball team is expected to do its share of winning this season, when it comes to opening tips, battles on the boards, and of course the scoreboard.
The Rebels, who have four starters that are 5-11 or taller, will open up at home against West Rutland on Monday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m.
"We will continue with a motion offense and emphasize strong denial man-to-man. We have 90 percent of our offense returning," said coach Gregg Morrow.
Leland & Gray’s trio of 5-11 forwards did most of the offensive damage during last year’s 9-11 campaign. Ashley Goddard has scored 541 points in her first three varsity seasons, Alex Morrow is next with 362, and sophomore Haley Buffum went off for 166 as a freshman.
They will be joined in the starting lineup by 6-1 center Adrienne Derry and senior point guard Chelby Nystrom.
"AAU was stronger than ever and we participated in a good summer league with Burr and Burton, MAU, Arlington and Green Mountain," noted the Leland & Gray coach, who added that seniors Morrow and Goddard have started every game since they were freshmen and that they are both being recruited at the Division 3 level.
Morrow, whose post game includes a pretty half-hook, has already swatted 130 shots, dished out 165 assists and grabbed 529 rebounds. Her only weakness seems to be free-throw shooting.
Goddard, who was also voted 1st Team MVL as a junior, has 669 rebounds and 117 steals in her high school career. Buffum chipped in with 130 caroms and 25 blocks last season.
Nystrom will be asked to handle the rock and run the show. The 5-4 senior already has 122 points, 34 steals and 29 dimes for the Rebels.
"When I took over the program four seasons ago, we had 14 girls for both JV and varsity. This year, we had 25 girls try out," stated coach Morrow.
The Rebels will participate in the Bellows Falls Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27-28. Their two meetings with Twin Valley are scheduled for Jan. 31 (at home) and Feb. 26 (in Wilmington).
Leland & Gray roster: Coach -- Gregg Morrow. Seniors -- Chelby Nystrom (captain), Ashley Goddard (captain), Alex Morrow (captain), Natalia Coelho. Juniors -- Elizabeth Gallup, Adrienne Derry. Sophomores -- Haley Buffum, Casey Williams, Abigail Winrich. Freshman -- Jordan Gouger.