Friday, March 7, 2014
On the first day of practice this season, Central Maine Community College women’s basketball coach Andrew Morong asked his players how many were the best players on their high school teams. Nearly all of them raised their hands.
“I said, ‘All right, just so we’re clear: We had a lot of girls who were big fishes in small ponds. Now we’re in a big pond together,’” Morong remembered.
Morong then explained how he knew many of the players were used to playing 30 minutes per game, but now that would change as everyone filled in their roles.
Two local players on the Mustangs are Mt. Blue graduate Gabby Foy and Madison grad Sam Bruce. Both are freshmen, and Morong said they’ve done a nice job of understanding the adjustments and improvements they had to make to play at the college level.
Foy is starting every game and averaging 13.4 points per night, so her adjustments haven’t been as severe as most college players. Still, Morong likes how much she’s contributed as an all-around player.
“I think she had a reputation in high school of just being a shooter,” Morong said. “She’s certainly proved that she’s more than that. She’s bought into the way we play defense, and she’s done a great job on the defensive end.”
Foy is 5 foot 6, but Morong said he occasionally has her guard opposing power forwards and centers.
“She’s very successful at guarding all five positions,” Morong said. “She’s very physical.”
Foy is playing a little over 20 minutes per game, and Morong thinks she’ll play more later in the season as the rotation gets settled and the games get bigger.
“I think we’re going to see her offensive output increase even more,” he said.
Bruce is shooting 50 percent overall and is 22 for 45 (49.4 percent) from three-point range. That percentage is good for second in the Yankee Small College Conference.
“Sam’s a very smart player offensively,” Morong said. “She knows when to shoot. She always takes the right shot.”
Morong is also impressed with the way Bruce’s defense has evolved just this season.
“She’s improved so much,” Morong said.
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Cony grad Josie Lee is a freshman on the Tufts women’s basketball team, which is ranked eighth in the nation in Division III in the latest USA TODAY coaches poll, and seventh in the D3hoops.com poll.
Tufts opened with close wins over Baldwin Wallace (71-70) and Rochester of New York (61-57). Since then the Jumbos have won every game by at least 17 points.
Lee has played 35 minutes over five games. She is 2 for 5 from the floor and has four rebounds and three steals.Matt DiFilippo — email@example.comTwitter: @Matt_DiFilippo