Sophomore Lindsay Finkel and Senior Kayla Sizer will both play big roles for the Indians this year
Text and photos by Steev Riccardo
Webster – Despite losing their home opener 44-15 to Bromfield High School this past Friday, the Bartlett Girls basketball team was upbeat and ready to improve their game at practice early Saturday morning.
With a busy schedule and not a lot of time to prepare, the girls were back on the court less than 12 hours after the loss.
“I thought that the defense was pretty good,” said Indians coach Chris Delvecchio. “Bromfield is a pretty good team. We held them to 44 points, which is a little higher than what we aim for. Our defense was significantly better than it had been in our scrimmages so we made some progress on that end of the floor.”
Offensively the team was led by senior Kayla Sizer, who scored six points in the loss and according to Delvecchio “did a good job of getting to the basket.”
Sizer, who is in her third year as a varsity player, has been a strong leader for the Indians, which is a very young team this year with a big crop of sophomores and freshmen.
“She is extremely committed to the program and has totally bought into the philosophy of team first, family oriented, everybody working towards the same goal that we have,” said Delvecchio about his senior forward. “She is a really hard worker, a high energy kid. For her size, she is a really good rebounder and it’s nice to have some quickness down low.”
Sizer has not only bought into the team’s philosophy but she also likes the direction and the style of play. “We have a really fast team this year so we want to push the ball up the court instead of the slower pace that we are used to,” said Sizer.
“The younger players shocked me the first day of tryouts. They are really good and they work really hard.”
One of those younger players is sophomore guard Lindsay Finkel (grand daughter of former Boston Celtics center Hank Finkel), who is a non-stop hustling machine on the basketball court.
“I am proud of Lindsay, its great to have a younger player come up and show the leadership that she has,” said Sizer.
“Lindsay is a proven leader,” said Delvecchio. “Her attitude and her approach to the game is very team oriented and exactly what we want.”
Finkel credits the senior leadership on the team for setting the tone for her and her teammates. “Kayla and Ashtin (Morio) are two of the most hard working players on the team and they both have great attitudes and they are both always looking to improve individually and help the team improve.”
“We are working on getting more steals and fast breaks and the coach is emphasizing on talking to each other more and seeing the court better,” said Finkel about the style change.
Morio, who is coming off an injury-plagued season in which she missed significant time, is one of keys to the team’s offense.
“Ashtin is a basketball player, She shows up every day and you know that she loves to play,” said Delvecchio. “She has worked very hard both physically to be ready to play and skills-wise to be able to get on the floor and produce.”
“We are trying to play a more up-tempo style and letting the girls know that the ball doesn’t have to go through a certain person. Between Ashtin, Katie Kobel, Finkel, and Olivia Mandeville, we have four pretty good ball handling options.”
Both Kobel and Mandeville are very athletic sophomores who saw time on the varsity last year and are looking to take their game up a notch to the next level.
Another intriguing player who is playing a key role is junior Kayla Podell, who gives the team some length in the frontcourt and had a nice opening night game. (Photo below)
“I thought Podell was our best player last night (Friday),” said Delvecchio. “She had a really solid first game. We are trying to develop her as a shot blocker and she has really absorbed everything in practice as far as coaching goes and it shows on the floor. She made probably the single best play of the game when she made a tough reverse layup.”
Sophomore Danielle Marrier is another player with some length that has looked good in practice. Delvecchio said Marrier understands the game and she is very versatile. “She is a good shooter, probably the most composed shooter on the team.”
Ashley Iwanski, will spell Podell at the Center position and give the Indians some depth down low with a powerful inside play.
Delvecchio also talked about sophomore transfer Karolina Dzieminski and praised her play. “She is very athletic, loves basketball, and she contributes in a lot of ways. She does a lot of the dirty work, which will be an asset for us.”
The pair of senior Jen Grooms and sophomore Catherine Heckler will also be in the mix for key playing time.
The Indians have a key SWCL match-up at home against Northbridge on Thursday, Dec. 13.
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