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Junior point guard Mandy Beck is running the offense for the Old Saybrook girls’ basketball team this season, while also causing problems for the opposition on the defensive end of the court. (Photo courtesy of Mandy Beck )
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Mandy Beck has grown up in a sports-heavy household, and she says that playing sports molded her into the person she is today. In her junior year at Old Saybrook, Mandy is shaping up as a solid leader at the point guard position for the Rams’ girls’ basketball team this season.
Mandy grew up watching her older sisters, Molly and Taylor, play for the Rams—paving the way for her to play basketball at Old Saybrook. As a sophomore last winter, Mandy had a breakout season. Now this year, she’s averaging a team-best 10 points per game to go along with four assists, four rebounds, and two blocks a night to help keep the Rams in playoff contention with their record of 7-10.
“Sports have really shaped who I am,” says Mandy, who also plays field hockey and lacrosse for Old Saybrook. “My teammates have really helped me. There is a lot of chemistry within our starting five. It’s me as a junior with four seniors, so we know each other, and our energy pushes off one another. We go out there with the mindset to win. Last year gave me a lot of confidence, so I just tried to bring confidence and energy into this year.”
Mandy has grown a lot taller since joining the Rams as a freshman. It took Mandy some time to figure out how to use her newfound height, but now, she’s using it to her advantage on the defensive end of the floor.
“There’s been a huge gap in my improvements since freshman year. I’ve grown about six inches since then, and at first, I didn’t know how to use my height,” Mandy says. “I’m 5-foot-9 as a guard, so that’s an advantage and, on defense, I use my wingspan to grab the ball.”
Mandy admits she was a little anxious on the court during her freshman season. However, as time went on, she started to play with more poise while running the Rams’ offense at the point.
“My freshman year, I was panicky because I was playing with seniors, but then I gained more confidence,” says Mandy. “Now, when I’m bringing the ball down the court, I try to set the tempo. I also try to get the team in the right mindset before a game. My shot has also gotten a lot better since I was a freshman.”
Old Saybrook Head Coach Steve Woods says that Mandy does a great job of facilitating the Rams’ offense and has the perfect personality to play point guard.
“At 5-foot-9, she is very fast, quick, and anticipates very well due to her court vision...Mandy is one of the premier guards in the Shoreline Conference, and she sets and controls the tempo in every game, which is very much up tempo and constantly putting pressure on opposing defenses,” says Woods. “Mandy’s perpetually wonderful demeanor with her teammates allows her, as a junior, to seamlessly lead senior-filled starting units, and she really runs the show calling the offenses with only occasional input from the bench. She quarterbacks the team from her point guard position, always facilitating, but is also our leading scorer, and the point on all our defensive presses. She is an outstanding example and model of what a student-athlete should be, and it is my privilege to have her in this program, and I’m thrilled she has another year.”
The respect between Mandy and Woods is certainly mutual, and she appreciates how her coach always keeps the team upbeat. Moving forward this year, Mandy and the Rams are aiming to maintain their energy and focus as they drive toward a spot in the playoffs.
“I get my positivity through Coach Woods. He puts so much into our program, and he is always smiling at practice,” says Mandy. “We are getting there, and we are working hard and pushing ourselves in practice. We are going to take a serious tone and mindset in each game.”
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