Shepaug girls basketball team picks up wins

Young but stocked with talent, the Shepaug girls varsity basketball team has picked up a pair of wins in the early going of the 2018-19 season.

The Spartans do not have a senior in the program, rolling out a roster that includes one junior, five sophomores and five freshmen.

“Our season looks promising as we are young, but very talented,” Shepaug coach Karen Puskas said. “The obstacle we face is our youth as they will need to grow and compete in the (Berkshire League) all at the same time. It is tough putting young sophomores up against seasoned seniors, but it is a challenge we look to take on.”

Shepaug (2-3) lost its first two games of the season, each by six points. While it was disappointing to get off to a slow start record wise, the losses came against teams (Housatonic Regional and Northwestern) that are a combined 9-0 to start the season.

The Spartans rebounded from the early setbacks to knock off Litchfield, 37-16, and Abbott Tech, 53-14.

“We gave up a total of 30 points in our two wins so that is great for us,” Puskas said. “We are a solid defensive team as we have yet to let any team score more than 40 points on us. Again, our issue is going to be offense as we will need to push forward and get points on the board, which means my young team will have to be aggressive.”

Puskas is in her sixth season at Shepaug. After a couple of rough seasons she has a group that while young, has been playing together year round for several years so the next three or four years look promising.

Key players for the Spartans include junior captain Lucy Puskas who returns as the team’s leading scorer the past two years averaging nine points per game.

“She has started and played every game since she was a freshman so she needs to provide some leadership to this young club,” Puskas said.

Sophomore Haylie Lasky returns as the team’s leading rebounder, averaging six rebounds per game.

“We look to her underneath to be dominating on the boards again this year,” said Puskas.

Sophomores Brooke Donaghey, Abbey Harty and Eilish Crossley are going to be important players for the Spartans this season and freshman Marissa Perachi has the potential to fill a key role this season for the team.

“Marissa has come quietly off the bench so far and has done a good job,” Puskas said. “As the season progresses, she could find herself in a more pivotal role.”

As for goals, after two tough seasons, the Spartans want to be playig important games come March.

“We have several team goals but our biggest is to make it to the final four of the BL tournament,” Puskas said. “Shepaug hasn’t been there for many years and it would be nice to return. With the balance of talent in the BL this season, it is a realistic goal and something the girls look to work for. We also have our sights set on the state tournament and want to make it past the first round — another place Shepaug has been empty in lately.”