How do you follow up the best season in program history?
If you’re the Mashpee High School girls’ basketball team, you try for an even better one.
Following a 13-7 regular season, and the first-ever postseason win in program history, the Falcons return the bulk of last year’s squad with their hopes set on eclipsing a fantastic season that ended with a heart-breaking one-point loss in the state tournament.
Coach Chris Tresca, who has overseen the team’s rise from doormat to contender in Division 4, believes that this year’s squad is quite capable of ascending to higher heights. “We should be better than last year,” he said. “I think we should compete for the (South Shore League) small side league title. The floor is higher than before, and we hope that the ceiling is too.”
The ceiling for the team is high, thanks to a core that has been playing together for several years and has great chemistry together. Senior captain Ashley Keleher and freshmen guards Amiyah Peters and Hialeah Turner-Foster combine for a troika that put up big points and wreak havoc defensively. Keleher is closing in on 1,000 career points and is one of the top players in the South Shore League. The forward has been the most dependable player on the squad for the past few years and has steadily improved.
Peters is simply dynamic, and a lot of fun to watch play. The guard always has a smile on her face when she’s on the court. She makes the fans smile, too, by distributing the ball with flair and getting to the basket despite her small size. Peters also rebounds very well for her height.
Turner-Foster is the team’s quiet assassin. Often overlooked because of the focus that is put on Peters and Keleher, Turner-Foster has developed into an excellent two-way player. Her game has a little less flash than her cousin Peters’ does, and differs from Keleher’s in many ways, but her value is high and her rise beyond simply dependability last season was a huge reason for the Falcons’ successes.
Many consider that the Falcons have their Big 3 and then everyone else. Coach Tresca thinks that it’s actually more of a Big 4 now.
Sophomore center Kalajia Moore should lead the team in rebounding this season and is able to score on put-backs and lay-ups down low. If she can create consistency for herself, and the team, she will benefit greatly from the attention that her more celebrated teammates garner.
Junior Maggie Connolly looks to be the other starter for the Falcons this season, playing forward. Connolly has improved quite a bit over the last two seasons and is starting to show a knack from the mid-range, as well as on the boards. With freshman Stella Stecei and sophomore Adaesia O’Garro helping out up front, MHS has more depth this season.
Freshman Paris Hendricks and sophomore Cheyenne Hendricks add depth to the squad as well, as will sophomore Skyla Rimple.
Mashpee will tip off its season tonight, December 13, at home against Sturgis West at home at 6:30. The girls will then host Bourne on December 17.