Gorham High School girls basketballTo say that a young Gorham High School girls basketball team will take the court for their season opener at home with Groveton at 7 p.m. tonight just might be an understatement.
The lady Huskies, who feature just one healthy senior and two juniors, will rely on a handful of sophomores and freshman to step into important roles as they square-off with the same North Country rival that eliminated the Huskies from post-season play in February. Gorham was scheduled to start two seniors but lost Brittany Bunch to a knee injury for at least the two-thirds of the season.
“I haven’t done this much coaching in a long time,” said Bunch. “It is going to be very challenging, but I am looking forward to the challenge.”
The Huskies will be thrown into the Lions' cage in the opening part of their schedule, facing a tough Eagles squad and then Colebrook, Lin-Wood, Lisbon, Profile and Colebrook again in their first eight games. That doesn’t include the always competitive Groveton Christmas Tournament.
“A lot of things are going to depend on how well they understand our defense,” said Bunch. “With such a young team, they are going to make some mistakes. In time, they will be able to relax and play the game. We just want to make progress every game.”
Even though his squad may not be strong and experienced on paper, Bunch said that his squad is full of girls with determination to play the game and come out on top.
“All the girls on this team want to be out on the floor playing,” said Bunch. “We need to start learning and putting everything together now.”
Bunch also sees his team as one that can shoot the ball well when they take the right selection of shots.
“These girls can shoot the ball,” said Bunch. “I told the girls that you can’t make baskets if you don’t shoot the ball.”
Running the point, Bunch hopes that sophomore Diana Ruppel and junior Sam Kenison will take care of the ball. Bunch has also been impressed with Carmen Gohlke.
“The guards are going to have to step up and play a major role,” said Bunch. “We have to take care of the ball.”
Upfront, Bunch has five forwards that he expects to log a significant amount of time in Erika Dore, Christa Ramsey, Brianna Bunch, Heather Ayotte and freshman Alati Gagne.
With the void of top scorer Brittany Bunch out with an injury, the Huskies' coach said he expects the younger sister to help carry the scoring load and an array of others to contribute.
“I have got girls stepping up already,” said Bunch of Brittany Bunch’s absence. “I couldn’t ask for more than that.”
Despite not returning a single starter from last year’s 7-11 squad, the Huskies coach believes his team will improve throughout the season and again qualify for the play-offs.
“I’ve got to make sure the girls don’t get down on themselves,” said Bunch of the tough schedule to start. “We need to keep a positive outlook through the entire season.”
•2003-2004 Schedule (All games at 5:30 p.m. unless noted)
12/2 vs. Groveton 7 p.m.
12/5 vs. Colebrook 7 p.m.
12/9 @ Lin-Wood
12/13 vs. Calvary Christian 12 p.m.
12/16 vs. Lisbon
12/19 @ Profile
1/5 vs. Moultonborough
1/7 @ Colebrook
1/9 vs. Stratford
1/16 @ Nute
1/21 vs. Lin-Wood
1/27 @ Pittsburg
1/29 @ Groveton 7 p.m.
2/2 @ Lisbon
2/4 vs. Profile
2/10 @ Moultonborough
2/12 vs. Pittsburg