Time will tell what kind of a season the Mashpee High School girls’ basketball team is able to put together this winter. With a new head coach, Bob Catalini, running the show for the team, it is clear that the Falcons are upbeat and are enjoying a more positive atmosphere around the program right now. How the good vibes translate in terms of wins and losses is the big question.
Catalini is not worried as much about his team’s overall record as he is seeing the girls play as well as possible. “I really like the kids, I have a great bunch of kids. I care more about them playing to their potential than anything else,” Catalini said. “I think that we’ll be competitive.”
With new systems on both offense and defense for the team to learn, Catalini said that he believes that his squad will improve consistently over the course of the year. Hopefully those improvements will follow the pace of the game that the first year coach is hoping to see out of his team.
“We’re not playing slow. We have to try to score in transition, try to have a nice flow,” the coach said.
With an overall lack of size in the post, the hope is that Mashpee’s tough man-to-man defensive style will result in turnovers and run-and-gun opportunities on the other end. “We’re going to play man-to-man. The emphasis has been on defense so far, and I’m pretty pleased with how we’ve done with that,” Catalini said. “We’re small, we need to do things that good small teams do to score and win.”
MHS will rely heavily on its backcourt throughout the season, with seniors Morgen Morris and Summer Fierro leading the charge. Morris helped lead the team’s summer league squad to a Cape championship and is a solid ball-handler. She can score the basketball and play both guard spots.
Fierro is an aggressive player on both ends of the court. She is a capable shooter and also can get the ball to the basket off the dribble.
The other seniors on the roster are Sarah Whipper and Jade Fernandez. Whipper is a post player that can do a nice job with her defense. She will need to rebound the ball for Mashpee. She also is a left-handed shooter, which gives many defenders trouble. Fernandez has not suited up yet during the preseason due to an injury, but should give the team some depth in the backcourt.
Junior Raegan Silvia is the other go-to player in the backcourt, along with Morris and Fierro. MHS will run out plenty of three-guard lineups, and Silvia will be a centerpiece of them. “We can use her all over the floor,” Catalini said. “She can play lots of spots, she can score. She’s very versatile.”
Sam Raftery figures to be a starter for the Falcons at one of the post spots. Catalini said she can fill multiple roles for the club, playing small or power forward and center. “We’re counting on her. She’s good defensively and her shot is coming along,” Catalini said.
The last junior in the mix is Tea Moulton-Childs. A JV player last year, she works hard and plays solid defense.
The sophomores in the mix for the Lady Falcons are Sam Fraser, Jackie Ferrari and Lindsay Barrows. Fraser was a star during the fall for the field hockey team as the goalie and is a hard worker that has impressed the coach with her work ethic. She will help on the defensive side of things.
Ferrari plays forward. She showed some strong flashes over the summer and should help. Barrows also gives the team depth off the bench at the forward spot.
Two freshmen have earned spots with the varsity club this year. They are Chayna Hendricks and Briana Demeo.
Hendricks is a left-handed guard that has seen a lot of time during the preseason on the court with the first team. “She’s pretty talented. She’s young, but a nice little guard,” the coach said.
Demeo will be a backup guard. She has put in plenty of effort during the first few weeks and will bring depth to the squad.
“So far I’ve been pleased with the kids,” Catalini said. “They’re some good kids, hard-nosed kids. I’ve been really pleased with them, no complaints.”
The Lady Falcons begin their season this afternoon. The team heads to Osterville to take on Cape Cod Academy at 4 PM.