They all suit up, they all contribute, and it’s safe to say – they don’t play like their age.
Marblehead girls basketball freshmen Tessa Andriano, Samara Dosch, Marietta O’Connell, and Greta Sachs are the players head coach Paul Moran defines as “special.”
“These four freshmen are the future,” Moran said. “They’re such great kids and all four of them are willing to put in the work. For freshmen, they have been off the charts.”
Moran, in his entire coaching career, has only started one freshman. But he sees similarities between this group of freshmen and his former starter.
“They’re very mature for their age. They’re basketball players first,” Moran said. “One of them is probably tied with volleyball and basketball, but the other three just love basketball. They’re always playing and it shows.”
Unlike private schools and other public schools where you’re allowed to bring up seventh and eighth graders to play varsity basketball, you can’t do that in Marblehead. That said, there were some growing pains towards the start of the season.
“You have to live through their growing pains,” Moran said. “When they’re in eighth grade, you can get away with a lot of stuff that you cannot get away with against 10th, 11th, and 12th graders.”
When asked to describe each of his players and their playstyles, Moran described Andriano as a double-digit scorer who is “always good for at least 10 rebounds every game.”
O’Connell is “so smart on the court,” and when she started against Swampscott for an injured teammate, Moran described her performance as “unbelievable.” As for Dosch, Moran describes her as more of a shooting guard compared to O’Connell.
“Both Dosch and O’Connell, together, are the backcourt of the future,” Moran said. “Those two can really handle the ball. They’re getting better at shooting and getting stronger every day. They’re doing great things on the court.
Regarding Sachs, Moran believes she’s going to be a special player – if she isn’t already.
“I just think Greta needs another year to get stronger and I think Greta is going to be a really good player for us next year,” Moran said.
Despite all of the underclassmen praise, Moran also credits his seniors and captains for helping the freshmen adjust to the varsity level.
“These seniors have taken these kids under their wings. I have three captains this year and I can’t tell you how good they have been,” Moran said. “A lot of the kids could have been jealous, but they aren’t. They were always trying to find ways to help them.”
“I think the sky’s the limit for all four of these girls,” Moran said. “I think they’re going to make noise by the time this thing is done in four years.”