If you see the Bourne girls’ basketball team racing up and down the court this season, do not be alarmed—they are still the Canalmen you’ve come to know under third-year head coach Craig Davidson.
After operating a deliberate, half-court style of play on both ends of the floor, catering to Bourne’s size in recent years—anchored by 1,000-point scorer Emma Fenton—the Canalmen returns a trio of scorers who, despite what has occurred the last two seasons, excel at pushing the pace.
“We have completely changed our style to more of a run-and-gun team. It’s definitely been a fun atmosphere so far,” Davidson said. “I think this is really going to benefit our senior captains.”
That will be point guard Kaya Fernandes and wing Brooke McCallum, both of whom are four-year varsity players. Fernandes made back-to-back South Coast Conference all-star teams running the slower-paced offense as a sophomore and a junior, but always flashed her speed and aggressive nature. Now this system will take advantage and showcase her skillset. The same could be said for McCallum, who’s shown a knack for filling up the scoreboard from anywhere on the court. While she may be asked to score in the paint more, she can also knock down outside shots.
The third returning starter is Nora Barmarshi, who’ll play opposite Fernandes in the backcourt for the second-straight season. Gifted with both speed and length, Barmarshi’s game should also flourish playing uptempo.
“She’s had an outstanding first week and a half. She’s been great for us,” Davidson said. “She’s athletic, long, can shoot from outside and get to the basket. Nora will be a great pairing with Kaya for the style we want to play.”
Key returning reserves include Lexi Morisett, Grace Gobeil and Jess LaFlamme, all of whom will be asked to play more minutes in 2019-20. Morisett and Gobeil are lock-down defenders on the outside and operate well in transition, according to Davidson, while LaFlamme be strong on the glass and provide a post presence. Filling out the bench is a group comprising Emily Sullivan, a late-season varsity call-up from last year and six freshmen: Haley McCarthy, whom Davidson described as a “gym rat,” Meghan Roache, Brooke Lunedei, Kendall Fortune, Hannah Wenzel, and Emma Borgeault. The result is a group of 13 players all vying for quality minutes this season, creating a healthy competitive atmosphere that has already paid dividends in their scrimmages.
Despite the promise of a new season, the third-year coach knows there’ll be learning curves for a young team that will be tested in the SCC this season. Davidson said that all but players from last year’s conference all-star roster return, leaving plenty of playmakers to go around the SCC.
And before conference play can begin, Bourne will be tested right out of the gates. The Canalmen open the season at home against Dartmouth todayon Friday, December 13 at 6:30 PM to kick of a stretch of five non-conference or SCC-Blue Division games.
“That should allow us to tweak some things and grow as a team by the time we get into our SCC-Gold Division slate,” Davidson said.