This year, and for the next few to come, the Sandwich High School girls’ basketball team should be one of the teams to beat in the Cape and Islands League. Coming off of a 12-6 regular season last year, which ended with a first-round loss to Dedham in the state tournament, the Knights have six players returning and a nucleus that should help lead the way to fun and exciting basketball for the foreseeable future.

“We really haven’t had a lot of time together so far, but when we were practicing last week, I liked what I saw,” head coach Marty Cosgrove said. “They’re a good group of kids and they hustle.”

That style of play and work ethic should have the Knights flying up and down the court all season long. Coach Cosgrove believes his team should be able to play strongly with the up-tempo style that he wants to employ, and should also give the competition some fits.

Helping to lead the way is returning all-star guard Sierra Brigham. The junior, who led the squad in scoring last year, has been with the varsity since her 8th grade year and has grown to become a reliable ballhandler and perimeter shooter. The two-guard in the Knights’ system is comfortable squaring up from the outside and can get to the rim to create layups and opportunities for her teammates in the paint.

Senior captain Victoria McGittigan will handle the point guard spot for the Knights. The experienced floor general can knock down a shot, but is most comfortable making sure that her teammates get their chances. She is also a very strong defender for the team and looks to make a big difference in her final high school season.

Senior Kaitlin Kramer is a two-year varsity player who will do her damage in the post. A fundamentally solid player, Kramer will look to score some down low and also help the team on the boards.

The rest of the roster is very sophomore-heavy. Ryann Cobban is a second-year high schooler who has a lot of potential. Earning a varsity spot last year, Cobban is a very athletic player who plays with high energy.

Hailey Lemire, up from the junior varsity, is a sophomore who can give the team some presence on the block. One of the tallest players on the team, Lemire defends down low and has athleticism. She can get to the basket and make things happen.

Sophomore Riley Morrison was with the varsity last year and is looking to take a step forward this time around. Morrison is one of the team’s toughest defenders, giving the ballhander a lot to think about. The guard is also able to bring the ball up and can handle pressure well.

Nora Cronin was a JV player last year, but the hard-nosed sophomore is looking to complement the club this year at the highest level. Cronin can run the floor well and plays the style of hoops that coach Cosgrove wants to use.

Grace Rothera, a sophomore, will play forward for the team. Rothera will shoulder some interior responsibilities, such as rebounding, posting up and banging under the rim. Her size will be an asset.

Junior Grace Cohen was with the varsity last year and turned in a few really nice efforts during the season. She looks to build on that this season.

Junior Sarah Kinney tore her ACL as a freshman and is finally able to put in varsity time as a junior. The forward, who played with the JV last year as she rehabbed her knee, is a post player who hopes to start making up for lost time.

As for the shorter season, Coach Cosgrove has his eyes set squarely on being the team to beat in the league. “I think everyone wants to win the league. I think that has to be everyone’s mindset when a season starts. We’ll look to play to our strengths and see what happens, but I think we can definitely compete,” he said.

Cosgrove said he believes Falmouth, Nauset and Barnstable will be tough in the league, as well. Falmouth, he said, has a legacy of tough players and quality coaching. Nauset is bringing back a great amount of talent, and Barnstable should be very competitive, too.

SHS is slated to return to the practice court on Monday, January 11, with a first game slated for the next day against Martha’s Vineyard, at home, to tip things off. That schedule could be amended over the coming days.

“We’ll take our marching orders as they come,” Cosgrove said. “We’re just happy for the opportunity to play.”

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