BY KEN MORSE
The Naugy girls finished up the first half of the basketball season with an encouraging 5-5 record. The Greyhounds made the most of their opportunities, winning two games by just a basket, and another was a three-point victory that went to overtime.
It was in those moments that this young and inexperienced team bonded together and grew by leaps and bounds. Over the course of the first half of the season, injuries and illness took their toll and on a few occasions the team struggled offensively.
Naugy began the second half of the season without the services of point guard Laniah Diaz, out with an injury. That has created an urgency to find some help off the bench to keep the offense going.
“We still don’t know how long Laniah will be out or if she can even come back,” said Naugy coach Jon Carroll. “Ava DeFilippo and Amanda Jimenez have both filled in off the bench and have done a good job for us.
“We had a couple of good wins during the early part of the season and looking forward to putting some more games into the win column, but we play in a strong division and every game will be a challenge.”
The Greyhounds can dominate the boards led by Aryn Bombery, averaging 12 points and 10 rebounds per game. Indya Waller (6.3 ppg, 12 reb.) is another consistent double-digit rebounder.
Lauryn Ramalho (8.8 ppg) becomes even more of a crucial part on offense with Diaz out of the lineup. Sophia DeFilippo (4.0 ppg), a defense-first kind of player, will need to expand her shooting abilities.
The Greyhounds took on Wolcott in the first game of the second half of the season and fell short in a lopsided 46-20 loss. Naugy struggled but was still in the game at the half, trailing 18-11. The Eagles erupted in the third quarter to put the game away. Sam Tyler (16 points) and Sarah Redente (12 points) have gained some experience in the first half of the season putting points on the board. Steph Sutherland, Phoebe Jagello and Leana Morera have all scored points along with Jimenez (16 points) and Ava DeFilippo.
Naugy was set to take on two of the toughest teams in the NVL. The Greyhounds hosted Seymour on Jan. 20, then followed that up with a contest at Holy Cross on Tuesday. Naugy is at Kennedy on Jan. 31.
“I think as we saw in the first half of the season, health is going to a big part of it,” said Carroll. “It’s hard enough going up against the teams in our division but when you go in there a player or two down because of injuries or illness that really changes the dynamics right off the bat.
“In order to remain competitive you need to be at the top of your game and to do that it starts with being able to field your whole team. In the first half of the season alone we had to go with six different starting lineups. It’s kind of hard to gain any stability having to do that.”
BY KEN MORSE