The Mt. Hope girls basketball team fell to Somerset Berkley, 50-33, in a non league home game on Wednesday night. Elsa White led the team with 14 points. Lauren-Clark-Pais scored 6, Reyn Ferris …
The Mt. Hope girls basketball team fell to Somerset Berkley, 50-33, in a non league home game on Wednesday night. Elsa White led the team with 14 points. Lauren-Clark-Pais scored 6, Reyn Ferris and Shivani Metha each scored 3, Aditi Mehta, Amani Jackson and Emily Moran each scored 2 and Mia Padula added 1. Somerset Berkley held a slight halftime lead, 19-17, before Raiders, Gabrielle Nugent (14 points) and Allie Powers (7 points) got hot. The loss dropped the Huskies record to, 0-2, to start the season.
Difficult road ahead for Huskies
The road doesn’t get any easier for the Huskies who were moved up to Division II by the Rhode Island Interscholastic League, after a trip to the Division III finals last season. The team played Rogers in their first league game and lost, 63-26, and will face the likes of Smithfield, Tiverton, Westerly, West Warwick, Woonsocket, Coventry, East Providence and others.
“It’s going to be tough,” said Huskies captain Aditi Mehta. “We realized last game that it’s a lot faster than we anticipated.”
“It will definitely be a different season,” said Huskies head coach Katie Kline. We are hoping to put up a fight in D-II.”
Mt. Hope is also down a coach as Catie Booth did not come back this season, leaving Coach Kline the sole head coach of the Huskies with assistant coaches, Sarah Barboza, James Brackett and Lindsay Smith.
“Catie couldn’t do the time commitment this year,” said Coach Kline about her former co-coach. "But we have four coaches. Everyone will put their best foot forward.”
While the team graduated just one player, it was a doozy in point guard Izzy Savignon who played like an Energizer Bunny up and down the court. Junior point guard Abby Razzino was also lost for most of the season due to a soccer injury that she suffered in the fall. Razzino a top scorer for the Huskies last year, was penciled in to take over for Savignon. The guard is hoping to come back in March. But for now, Elsa White, the team’s best shooting guard, will share point guard duties with team captain Aditi Mehta who can also play small forward as she did in the Somerset Berkley game and her younger sister, Shivani Mehta.
“We are going to miss Abby,” Coach Kline said. “We are looking for Elsa White to step into the role.”
Coach Kline feels that based off White's terrific season last year, opponents looking at game film will see that she is one of the Huskies biggest threats.
“I think that she’ll have a lot of pressure this year, but she has the speed and shooting capability to still put up big points,” said Coach Kline.
The Huskies may be better suited to find other options at point guard. White is great at finding her spot and shooting jumpers off the pass. She can score in bunches and carry the team when she’s hot. Mehta’s younger sister, Shivani a junior, could be an answer. Shivani is a sure handed dribbler and distributes the ball well on offense. The question will be how well she plays on defense. The younger Mehta played well during the Somerset Berkley game. The speedy Mehta passed the ball well and White was able get into position and drain some jumpers. The Huskies also have seniors Isabel Bible, Victoria Almeida and Amani Jackson to fill in at guard.
Ferris leads Huskies front court
The Huskies have rebounding and defensive phenom Reyn Ferris at center to lead the Mt. Hope front court. The tall athletic junior will have to find her shot this season, for the Huskies to have success.
“Reyn is super tall. She grabs those rebounds,” said Coach Kline.
Ferris pulled down 15 rebounds per game last season according to Coach Kline's stats.
“We are hoping she’ll put up a few more points this season,” she said. “We are working on getting Reyn the ball down low. She stepped up big in the championship game last year and we are looking for her to continue with that this season.”
Junior forward Lauren Clarke-Pais can takeover games at times as she did in the championship game last season. But when defenses adjust, she’ll need to be able to pass off underneath the basket to Ferris. Senior forward Aeryal Rodrigues played well in spots last year and will be needed to step into a bigger role this season. Swing player Aditi Mehta will clock minutes at forward and volleyball star Mia Padula is back as well. Added to the mix of forwards is, 5’9” freshman Emily Moran, who looked strong spelling Ferris during the Somerset Berkley game. Though she played guard in the past, she may be able to help the Huskies more underneath the hoop.
“Emily is big and tall,” said Coach Kline. “She’ll definitely be a threat down there as well.”
The Huskies will have an adjustment period as they get up to speed in their new division. But the team has a lot of talent and skill. Coach Kline is hoping to continue to play a scrappy, pressing style of defense as long as the Huskies can endure the speed of Division II.
“It will bring our game up,” said Mehta. “We’ll be playing against teams that challenge us. We may not win as much as we’d like, but at the end of the season, we’ll be playing better basketball.”
“Don’t count us out,” said Coach Kline. “We’ll put up the fight that Mt. Hope puts up. We are hoping to make the playoffs. That is one of our team goals and then we’ll go from there. We are ready for the season. We’ll bring our game and hope for the best.”