PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The 1999-2000 women's basketball season gets underway for Plymouth State College this weekend when the Panthers travel to Cambridge, Mass., for the MIT Tip-Off Tournament.
The Panthers are in the second year under head coach Lauren Lavigne, and the prospects of this season are bright. PSC returns six of the top seven scorers from last year's team that went 14-11, including four starters.
Plymouth State makes its season debut Friday at MIT against Fitchburg State in the 6 p.m. game, with MIT facing Eastern Nazarene in the 8 p.m. contest. The two losers meet in the consolation game Saturday at 12 noon, with the championship clash slated for 2 p.m.
Following the tournament, PSC will make its home debut next Tuesday (Nov. 23) at Foley Gymnasium. The Panthers will host Notre Dame College at 5:30 p.m. in the first game of a doubleheader with the PSC men's team.
1999-2000 P.S.C. Women's Basketball Outlook
Coach Lavigne returns eight veterans from last year's team, along with a solid contingent of newcomers. The only losses are starting center and 1,000-point scorer Rebecca Morse and reserve forward Ange Picard. Lavigne says to look for this year's Panthers to be a high-paced unit on both ends of the basketball court.
"Our transition offense and defense is the biggest change from last year to this year," said Lavigne. "We will be intense on both ends of the floor. We want to play in the open court. Last year we talked about scoring off of our defense, this year we're doing it."
The Panthers have three seniors who will serve as captains this season - guards Lynn Hersey (Dexter, Maine) and Courtney Jacques (Belmont, NH) and forward Lauren Santoli (Mansfield, Mass.).
"In general we're much more organized offensively and defensively," said Lavigne. "We have two solid point guards who have stabilized things, and that has been a big help."
Plymouth State should have a solid backcourt, with several players moving around to various roles on the court. Jacques, who has started the last two years mostly at point guard, will shift to an off guard role, while Hersey, who has handled both roles in the past, will primarily be used as a ball handler.
"Courtney is so creative off the dribble and off the pass she'll flourish out there," said Lavigne of Jacques, who is PSC's leading returning scorer at 11.6 ppg . "Someone can get her the ball and she doesn't have to worry about bringing it up."
Lavigne plans to use freshman Whitney Morin (Derby Line, VT) in a starting small forward/shooting guard role, classmate Jennifer Pelletier (Derry, NH) as a backup point guard, and versatile sophomore Megan Fournier (East Waterboro, Maine) as both a perimeter and a post-player. Junior Kate Fillion (Littleton, NH), who is struggling through pre-season injuries, provides the Panthers with a proven scoring threat. She averaged 10.4 points last season, connecting on a team-high 44 three-point field goals.
The front court will be led by Santoli and junior Krystyna Zagorski (Matawan, NJ). Santoli averaged 7.3 points last season and improved herself into a solid starter and inside player. Zagorski averaged 11 points and 6.4 rebounds while shooting a team-high 49.1 percent from the floor and 81.8 percent from the line, and could become one of the top players in the league.
The rest of the front court includes a trio of freshmen - Heather Adey (Nashua, NH), Courtney Albert (Hudson, NH) and Virginia Rohrborn (Townsend, Mass.), all of who should get plenty of playing time.
Returning sophomore guards Tammi Waters (Wilmington, VT) and Brooke Randall (Harrisville, RI) have shown improvement over the summer and could see additional minutes this season. Rounding out the roster are sophomore Krisy Menard (Franklin, VT) and freshman Jill Matteson (Chatham, Mass). Menard just finished the fall season with the PSC soccer team, and Matteson played on the Panther field hockey squad.
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