BRATTLEBORO — Head coach Paul Freed has stepped down and Hailey Derosia is now a star at Keene State College.
That combination helped the Brattleboro Union High School varsity girls basketball team to 42 total wins and a semifinal appearance over the past four seasons.
"This whole group has been working well as a team," said Chris Worden, who has taken over for Freed. "I think we'll be pressing a lot with the team that I have."
The Colonels will face Burr and Burton in the first round of the Leland & Gray Tip Off Tournament on Friday night at 5:30 in Townshend. The Bulldogs have returned their top two scorers and rebounders, in senior Ashley Heaton and junior Carol Herbert.
Brattleboro has prepared by scrimmaging against Keene and Hartford.
"Those scrimmages went pretty well," noted Worden. "We've got some smart players on this team and I think they will be able to handle whatever I throw at them."
The rookie coach said that his starting five will likely consist of Lauryn Sargent, Alyssa Scherlin, Rachael Rooney, Julie Hendricks and Natalie Hendricks. He added that Sargent has shown an inside presence, that Rooney and Julie Hendricks are both good perimeter shooters, and that Scherlin and Natalie Hendricks can both drive to the basket.
It will be difficult to replace Derosia, who erupted for 25 points during an upset victory over Mount Mansfield in a playoff game last season. Rooney, who scored 14 points in that contest, will likely be checked by the opposition's best defender this winter.
Brattleboro's home opener is scheduled for Dec. 28 at 2:30 p.m.
Colonels' roster: Coach — Chris Worden. Seniors — Rachael Rooney, Jessica Tatro, Alyssa Scherlin, Nicky Norcia, Julie Hendricks, Lauryn Sargent. Juniors — Natalie Hendricks, Madison Johnson, Lily Giroux. Sophomores — Chloe Givens, Kiki McNary, Brenna Beebe.
Dec. 13 — vs. Burr and Burton, at Leland & Gray, 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 14 — vs. Arlington or Leland & Gray, in Townshend, TBA
Dec. 21 — at Burlington, 1 p.m.
Dec. 28 — host Fair Haven, 2:30 p.m.
Dec. 30 — host Champlain Valley Union, 7 p.m.
Jan. 3 — host Saint Johnsbury, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 7 — at Windsor, 7 p.m.
Jan. 10 — at South Burlington, 7 p.m.
Jan. 21 — at Saint Johnsbury, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 25 — host Northampton, 1:30 p.m.
Jan. 30 — at Hartford, 7 p.m.
Feb. 1 — at Monument Mountain, 2:30 p.m.
Feb. 3 — at Springfield, 7 p.m.
Feb. 6 — host Woodstock, 7 p.m.
Feb. 10 — host Rutland, 7 p.m.
Feb. 13 — host Mount Anthony Union, 7 p.m.
Feb. 20 — at Rutland, 7 p.m.
Feb. 22 — host Mill River, 2:30 p.m.
Feb. 25 — at Mount Anthony Union, 7 p.m.
Feb. 28 — host Burr and Burton, 7 p.m.