Season of changes for New Milford girls hoops
The New Milford High School girls basketball team will have a new look this season as it works to overcome a number of changes.
The Green Wave lost seven of their top eight players from last season’s Class L state tournament team. Graduation and a pair of players moving out of town has resulted in coach Bill Kersten having to work with a young and relatively inexperienced program.
“We’re starting two juniors, one sophomore and two freshmen,” Kersten said. “With such a young and very inexperienced team, we are looking to learn everyday and improve from day to day and game to game.”
Juniors Nicole Vivian and Mackenzie Brady are the team captains and will provide leadership to a team looking to overcome the losses of a number of players from last season’s team, including Aunalise Anderson, Abbi Debes, Taylor Kersten, Jess Horkan, Gillian Boss and Abby Sobatuck
Vivian and Brady will man the guard spots and be joined on the varsity team by sophomores Tatum Bowes and Olivia Taub as well as freshmen Anna Holcomb, Sam McCaughan, Maya Val.
The Green Wave opened the season with a loss against Weston on Monday night. Vivian scored 11 points to lead New Milford while Brady and McCaughan added three points apiece.
New Milford hosts Immaculate on Friday and Stratford on Monday.
“As always, we play a very competitive non-league schedule and then will try to compete in one of the best leagues in the state,” Kersten said. “The girls are playing very hard and learning our system and looking forward to the start of the season.”
New Milford went 9-11 last season and earned a berth in the CIAC Class LL State Tournament where they fell at fourth-seeded Simsbury in the first round. To make it back to the postseason the Green Wave will have to grow as Kersten and his staff — Giles Vaughan -JV, Asst. varsity, and Mark Grant- Freshmen, Asst. varsity — work with a young team.
“We coach them with the understanding that there is a lot of learning that needs to occur, not only to learn our system of play, but also all the fundamentals of basketball that they need to master,” Kersten said.
Kersten expects Newtown, Kolbe Cathedral, Notre Dame, and Bethel to be at the top of the league this year.
“Our goals are to qualify for state and league playoffs,” Kersten said.