Heading down the home stretch, RHAM getting stronger

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Mon., Feb. 4, 2013
Sarah Veilleux takes a shot for RHAM near the end of a Feb. 1 game against E.O. Smith. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Sarah Veilleux takes a shot for RHAM near the end of a Feb. 1 game against E.O. Smith. Photos by Melanie Savage.

With a solid 66-47 win against E.O. Smith on Feb. 1, the RHAM girls’ basketball team brought its record to 15-2, putting the Sachems in the fourth-place position for Division L with just three games to go in the regular season. The victory over the Panthers was a big one for RHAM, with the Sachems having experienced an 80-74 loss during the teams’ first meeting back in early January.

Asked about his team’s post-season prospects before the Feb. 1 game, head coach Tim Guernsey said that his focus remained on E.O. Smith. “Need to take one game at a time,” said Guernsey. “We need to get tougher at rebounding the ball, playing solid defense for four quarters, and we need to play unselfish ball.”

The Sachems collaborated well against E.O. Smith, showing fortitude that they have been working to develop during the season. “I think we are getting physically tougher,” said Guernsey. “I thought early on in the season we were getting pushed around physically and we seemed to be developing a tougher mentality. We are getting into a rhythm playing every week.”

Among the players leading the charge during the season is Sierra Stone. Her “pass-first mentality adds a very positive dynamic to our team,” said Guernsey. “She sees the floor well and is becoming more and more confident in running our team, even as a freshman.”

Senior Cameron Rishell “has been a great leader, has become a great outside threat, and plays within herself, which a lot of young athletes struggle with,” said Guernsey. “She does not force and can recognize when she is open to shoot and when she needs to pass the ball.”

Junior Sarah Veilleux “has been a force on the boards as well as the offense end,” said Guernsey. “She is a tough match-up for teams because of her ability to play in and out.”

Senior Caitlyn Ayotte “has been a very pleasant surprise,” said Guernsey. Although she hasn’t played since her freshman year, she “brings a tough mentality, [is a] hard worker [with a] blue-collar-type attitude, something this team needed and she has accepted her role well.”

Sophomore Alyssa Hansen “is a tough defender in the post, runs the floor very well, [is an] excellent passer for a post player, rebounds well,” said Guernsey.

Junior Maddie Haas “has really emerged over the last few games,” said Guernsey. Hass is “getting better defensively and is an offense scoring threat in the post,” he said.

But overall, Guernsey emphasizes the strength of the team as a whole. “It doesn’t matter who gets the job done as long as we play well together,” he said. “More important that the team does well as a group than individually. On any given night anyone can get beat [you] if you have an off night, so we need to make sure we continue to work hard and never take anything for granted.”

For their final games of the season, the Sachems were scheduled to take on Bloomfield, Rockville and Rocky Hill - three teams that they have already beaten by a significant margin this year.

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