BRATTLEBORO -- Coach Paul Freed sat inside the lobby of the BUHS gym reviewing his notes and playbook as his Colonel team made their way off the court, backpacks and dufflebags in tow, another productive practice session complete.
"Today, we got down to basics," said Freed, who heads up the school’s varsity girls basketball program.
"Footwork, picks, keeping the ball in motion; the fundamentals of the sport."
It was to be one of the team’s last practices before they host their opener against Wahconah, which kicks off tonight at 7.
Over the years, Freed said he has developed a sort-of philosophy for the team dubbed "E-cubed," which means "enthusiasm, energy and effort."
"The team has only been together for a few weeks now, but their chemistry is good and their bond is strong," said the coach. "Tonight’s practice proved that."
But Freed isn’t just a philosopher, he is also a theorist.
"The coaching staff is trying to teach the players to face the rim," said Freed. "Too often you see players dribbling and passing around or away. Everybody looks, but few see the entire floor, or the whole strategy. There can’t be this predetermined notion that every time you get possession, you can just go to the right side for an easy layup, or dribble into the corner."
Freed believes the Colonels are evolving to obtain that collective vision, but their biggest conquest this year will be getting a flowing offense going, making movement a priority.
The team will be led by seniors Kara Pergentilli, Molly Goodhue (captains), Alyssa Bezanson and Anna Kerlin-Smith. "Not a selfish group at all," said Freed. "I think our seniors represent the epitome of compassion and fairness."
And Freed senses the excitement of each player to see their teammates succeed, explaining that the Colonels’ potential is greater than ever.
Sophomore duo Taylor Bird and Abbie Lesure should provide the team an all-around boost. Last season, Lesure led the team in assists and steals, while Bird was one of the top scorers, plus she helped to fortify the defense.
"Bird and Lesure are really the only returning players with any minutes," confessed Freed. "Together, they are a challenging force. Anyone who comes up against them will have to work hard to get a win."
Brattleboro fell to Colchester in the first round of the 2011-2012 playoffs and ended their season with a 6-14 record.
Colonels roster -- Coach: Paul Freed. Asst. coach: Shannon Garrett. Seniors: Molly Goodhue, Alyssa Bezanson, Kara Pergentilli, Anna Kerlin-Smith. Juniors: Meghan Siggans, Kayla Savage, Daisy Giroux, Arianna Harrison, Aidan Early. Sophomores: Taylor Bird, Abbie Lesure, Maddie Derosia, Meghan Powell.
David Aquino can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.