Veilleux leads the offense for winning RHAM basketball team

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Tue., Jan. 28, 2014
RHAM's Sarah Veilleux reaches between South Windsor's Kimberly Jackson (left) and Alexandra Hill. Photos by Melanie Savage.
RHAM's Sarah Veilleux reaches between South Windsor's Kimberly Jackson (left) and Alexandra Hill. Photos by Melanie Savage.

In her senior year, stand-out RHAM athlete Sarah Veilleux is proving to be an integral part of a very strong girls' basketball team that has made it half-way through the 2013-14 season with only two losses. Boasting an 11-2 record as of Jan. 28, the Sachems’ only losses have come at the hands of Rocky Hill and South Windsor.

Veilleux currently holds the number-one positions for statewide stats in scoring and three-pointers, and ranks within the top 10 for free-throws and rebounds. “Sarah has been great,” said head coach Tim Guernsey. “She is truly a gifted athlete. She works hard, she gives everything she has and she holds herself to a very high standard. She has been very committed to basketball and getting the most out of the game of basketball at a very young age, and she is beginning to reap the benefits of hard work and commitment.”

But, said Guernsey, basketball is the ultimate team game. “You cannot win a game by yourself,” he said. “You cannot score without the help of your teammates and you cannot defend without the help of your teammates.” Offensively, Veilleux carries a lot of weight, said Guernsey. “She scores a great deal and has the ability to score both inside and outside,” he said. “If they put someone smaller on her, she has the ability to post up and score in the paint. If they put someone taller, she has the ability to dribble by them.”

But when Veilleux's scoring abilities are limited, her teammates are capable of stepping in to handle the ball. In a recent game, Bloomfield player Corrine Williams did a top-notch job defending Veilleux, according to the coach. Veilleux found herself in foul trouble. “Her teammates held it together and led us to a victory,” said Guernsey. “Carly Spellman had a great night against Bloomfield with 23 points, her career high.”

Guernsey said that Veilleux is often double-teamed, sometimes triple-teamed. “She has handled each and every defense in stride and realizes that if we are going to be successful she is going to need help,” he said.

Early in the season, Guernsey felt very comfortable with a starting five composed of Sierra Stone, Maresa Catenzaro, Veilleux, Sydney Masna and Alyssa Hansen. But multiple injuries and illnesses have necessitated multiple shake-ups. Taylor Garger, a sophomore who replaced an ailing Catenzaro, “has been playing great defense and rebounding,” said Guernsey. “She is a natural scorer, but [the issue is] trying to find balance with Sarah's true ability to score.”

The current RHAM starting five is Sierra Stone (sophomore), Carly Spellman (junior), Taylor Garger (sophomore), Sarah Veilleux (senior) and Sydney Masna (freshman). “It is a smaller line-up, but everyone can handle the ball. It allows us to press a little more, gives us some balance,” said Guernsey. Stone looks to pass the ball, "[I’m] still encouraging her to look to score,” said Guernsey. Guernsay said that Spellman and Garger, “have been a great addition to the line-up,” and that Masna “has been consistent and getting more comfortable with each game."

“I have been pleased so far with the effort. I am hoping as we move forward we can get into a rhythm,” said Guernsey.

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