Young coach and players turning Raider program around

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., Jan. 3, 2013
The 2012 Enfield High School captains are (l-r) Maggie Richards and Rachel Kaliff. Photos by Colin Rajala.
The 2012 Enfield High School captains are (l-r) Maggie Richards and Rachel Kaliff. Photos by Colin Rajala.

The Enfield High School girls’ basketball team was stuck in a rut for the past few years, but the program has begun to turn it around behind second-year head coach Megan Willis. Last season the team ended a three-year winless streak that spanned 66 games and finished 3-17. The Raiders are a young squad with a lot of upside, and under Willis’ guidance, the team has already equaled last year’s win total in just seven games.

“We try and play each game quarter by quarter and improve every time we step on the floor,” said senior captain Rachel Kaliff. “We’re just trying to get respect back for our school and our community. We’re looking to be a competitive team.”

The team gets after it on the defensive side of the ball and has taken the philosophy that defense wins games. The Raiders employ a zone defense that has caused opponents to average less than 35 points per game this season. Enfield relies on its teamwork in the zone to stymie opponents, causing miscommunication and turnovers. The Raiders strive to capitalize on these mistakes for easy baskets in transition.

The offense for Enfield is led by guard/forward Kaliff, who can score from inside and out as well as fill the stat sheet on any given night. The offense is in the hands of junior captain and point guard Maggie Richards, who is looked upon to get out into the open floor and create open looks for her teammates.

Enfield expects senior forward/center Sam Hellyar and sophomore forward/center Hannah Lempitsky to control down low on both sides, while dominating the offensive and defensive glass. Lempitsky is developing into a very capable scorer with a variety of effective low post moves.

Coming into her own this season has been sophomore guard Olivia Caronna. The coach said Caronna can fill it up in bunches and provides a unique athletic skill set that very few players have. The Raiders expect strong contributions off the bench from a duo of guards, junior Kristen Serafin and sophomore Victoria King.

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