Jamestown School girls' basketball heads to playoffs
"We have been working towards that goal in every game and trying to incorporate players and repeating that you need everyone out on the court and it is not a one man show. That is not how you are going to win games," first year Head Coach Andrea Brayman said.
Eighth-grader Cassidy Maguire said, "I think towards the beginning of the year we were having trouble getting it together and appreciating each others skills. Now we understand that each person on the team has a specific part so we are playing more as a team and we click better."
Brayman proudly said that in one recent game, the opposing team's coach said this was not the same team they played in the first half of the season.
Last week, Jamestown lost the last home game of the season to Martin Middle School 29-28. Brayman described the one point game as a turning point. "For four quarters they really played as a team and believed in each other and had confidence in themselves even though we lost by one point. I never thought I would feel good about losing, but I just wanted them to win because they try so hard. They came out thinking they could win and they recognized how well they played."
Eighth-grader Julia Thompson was a regular starter and Brayman said that if there was a Consistent Player Award, Thompson would get it. "Julia has been improving over the course of the season and taking what I have taught her in practice and actually doing it in a game. I have really been impressed with her." In the game against Martin, Thompson had 12 points. Brayman said she played the best game of her season.
Over half of the team is made up of a strong group of eighth graders. "Amina (Brown) was great because she gave 100 percent and her defense was really good. I could always count on Amina to go in there and shake it up. Shannah (Crowell) has been so driven and so wanting to win and giving 110 percent all the time. You can tell in the games she is there to win. Cassidy (Maguire) was tough and willing to learn a lot about the game and embrace it," Brayman said.
The three captains, who were also part of the starting line up, were Crowell, Victoria Rosa and Cara Liberati. Olivia McGowan was also a valuable member of the team and saw a lot of playing time, Brayman said. Molly Sylvia, Olivia DiMauro, and Rachel Bryer round out the eighth grade presence on the team.
Brayman commended all of her players and although the team is primarily made up of eighth graders, she is confident with the depth of the team for next season. "I have strong seventh graders who are athletic and totally dedicated to the sport," the coach said. "Kristijana (McCarthy) was consistent this season and will definitely thrive next year. Roma (Patel) was starting for me by the end of the season. Brooke (Reis), Isabel (Crabtree), Raeschelle (DeValerio) and Natalie (Toland) are all good players and will be back next year."
Overall it was a successful season. "They got better and they had fun and they learned a little bit more about themselves and they challenged themselves every day," Brayman said.
Jamestown will take on Mc- Court Middle School in the semifi nal game today. "I feel that in the last few games we played together as a team really well. I think the game against Martin was one of the best times of the season that we really came together and worked together really well. We are hoping to do that again and make it a close game," Crowell said.