Last year, the Lady Magicians finished their season four games above .500 at 12-8. That record got them into the Division 2 playoffs, but Masconomet ended Marblehead’s hopes of making a tournament run in the first round. A year later, Coach Paul Moran’s squad is back on the hardwood, and they are hungry for more wins.
After finishing the regular season ranked 40th in the power rankings, Moran hopes that his team can break the top 32, and do some damage in the Northeastern Conference and the state tournament.
“Our big goal is, we’d love to be in that top thirty two. We want to just compete every day… hopefully compete for the NEC… I’m hoping we can make the tournament and can advance,” said Moran. “We’d love to get a couple more wins, but that’s going to be tough, the conference is always tough, good teams, so we got our work cut out for us.”
Though the team is young, and many key pieces have graduated, the players have higher expectations than ever before, and senior captain Stella Monaco believes they have the talent to meet and exceed them.
“We lost a lot of good seniors, and it’s a young team, but also we have talent throughout the team,” said Monaco. “It goes all the way to the freshman; a lot of talented girls that I think will carry us a long way this season.”
On Monday, the team scrimmage against Mystic Valley at Marblehead High School. It was the first taste of competition for players, and like any beginning to a season, it took a few shots, and a few dribbles to shake off the rust. But once they did, the Magicians looked solid on both sides of the ball.
The Magicians dominated throughout with solid rebounding on both sides of the floor, as well as a smothering defense. However, what really stood out was the team’s ability to shoot from range, which senior captain Carlin McGowan commented on after the scrimmage.
“This year more than any other year that I have been playing for Marblehead High School, we have a lot of outside shooters,” she said. “Usually we focus more primarily in the paint, but this year I think we have a good chance of outside shots.”
A lot of those outside shots seem like they will be coming from freshman Tess Adriano, who impressed Monday evening by draining shots from the elbow, as well as from the three-point line. Senior captain Isabelle Ferrante noted that Adriano’s ability to shoot from the perimeter as well as being able to play inside the key will be a huge factor this season.
Junior Samantha Dormer will be another player to watch this season. Her length, along with her basketball IQ allowed Dormer to get into passing lanes and intercept the ball on defense, which then translated to her attacking the rim on offense.
Last season, according to Ferrante, offensive efficiency and point-scoring was an issue for Marblehead despite winning 12 games. She noted that this year, her team has more playmakers, and she hopes that the team will be more lethal on offense.
“Our goal is to really put points on the board,” Ferrante said. “Because last year we had a lot of low-scoring games, so I think a good goal for this season is to get higher-scoring games.”
Above all else, McGowan said that with the team going on a trip to Florida in the coming weeks, she hopes that the team can create an unmatched chemistry that will help them excel both on and off the court.
“We’re going on a trip together, we’re working outside of practice and inside practice just to make sure we have inclusivity, positivity, and a very solid group of girls that are teammates, and also friends,” said McGowan.”
Ferrante added: “I think as captains that’s one of our main goals this year, is to really unite a team so we can work better on the court.”
The Lady Magicians’ season officially kicks off on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m at home against Beverly.