Whippets still rebuilding, hope to regain momentum

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Windham - posted Mon., Dec. 17, 2012
Windham's Bridget Desautels attempts to wrest control of the ball from Lyman's Casey Kelley. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Windham's Bridget Desautels attempts to wrest control of the ball from Lyman's Casey Kelley. Photos by Melanie Savage.

Two years ago, the Windham High School girls’ basketball team won the Class M state championship title. Last year, the Whippets’ 5-15 record didn’t even qualify them to play in the post-season tourney. So where does the team stand this year?

One of this year’s seniors, Bridget Desautels, points out that the team lost 11 seniors after the 2010-11 championship. With just two seniors last year, they were facing a serious rebuilding season. “A lot of the girls on [the championship] team had played together for a long time,” said Desautels. “They worked very well together. I think that had something to do with it.” Last year, “There were a lot of games where we were so close to winning,” said Desautels, pointing out that mistakes led to a number of games ending up in the loss column. The key to success this year will be "a matter of staying on game at all times,” said Desautels.

Desautels is a three-year varsity player, a forward who is “sometimes put out on wing,” she said. She is joined in the starting lineup by senior Joslin Phaneuf, a two-year varsity player. Nicole Moore, a junior post player, is fast and persistent. Moriah Gonzalez, a junior who transferred in from Parish Hill this year, is “a shooter, but versatile,” said Desautels. Lindsay Phaneuf, a sophomore, was the main sub guard for the team last year and this year will see a lot of time on the court. “I think she’s grown a lot as a player, after seeing so much court time as a freshman,” said Desautels. While Desautels provides an experienced senior anchor for the team, the Whips are dealing with a small roster with a large number of sophomores and juniors, so the core players will need to bring their best game to the court in order to put together a successful season for the team.

Going into a Dec. 11 game against Lyman Memorial, the Whippets were still learning about each other’s skills and weaknesses, according to Desautels. “We’re still not all used to playing together,” she said. Against Lyman, the Whippets were strong, and kept the score close for the entire game. There were a number of avoidable turnovers, however, and the Whips ended up losing the game by a close final score of 44-40. According to Desautels, the focus of the team going forward will be on improving communication, eliminating errors, and turning those close games into wins rather than losses.

Seniors on this year’s Windham High School girls’ basketball team are Bridget Desautels, Joslin Phaneuf, Karely Vega, Elizabeth Peralta and Adamarie Cruz.

The head coach for the Whippets girls’ basketball team is Ken Valliere, with Missy Kissane assisting.

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