Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Sports Person of the Week

Donadio’s the Consummate Competitor on the Court

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Junior Catie Donadio is leading Morgan girls’ hoops as both a captain and a point guard this winter. Photo courtesy of Catie Donadio

Junior Catie Donadio is leading Morgan girls’ hoops as both a captain and a point guard this winter. (Photo courtesy of Catie Donadio )

If you want to know the type of that competitor Catie Donadio is, look no further than what happened when the Morgan girls’ basketball team played Coginchaug last month. The situation was dire for the Huskies, who trailed Coginchaug by three with a little more than 30 seconds left in the game. With Morgan needing a basket, it was time for the junior captain point guard to go to work.

Catie drove the length of the court and dished the ball to senior captain Leah McComiskey, who nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 41-41. Following a Coginchaug miss on the other end, McComiskey hit the game-winning shot on an assist by Catie with 1.8 seconds remaining to lift the Huskies to a season-defining, 43-41 victory.

“I’ve got one of the best basketball players in the Shoreline Conference,” Morgan Head Coach Caitlin Woods says. “We were down three, but I had all the confidence that Catie could guide us back to a victory. It was a crazy finish.”

Catie brings a no-quit mentality to Morgan and leaves it all on the floor every game. In a scenario where the Huskies had no room for error, Catie willed her team to the win by pushing the tempo in those final 30 seconds.

“I see the court really well, and I need to be able to make good decisions as the point guard of this team. Even though it’s pressure, I love it, and I thrive on it,” says Catie, a three-year starter who also plays soccer for Morgan. “Being able to tell when we need to push it up the court, stay back, or kick it out for a shot is important, and I’ve worked really hard on that part of my game.”

Catie sharpens her skills by playing basketball during the offseason, and that dedication is paying off for both her and the Huskies. Catie is averaging 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and five steals for Morgan, which has a record of 9-4 and recently qualified for the Class M State Tournament.

“Being able to play this sport year-round has been really beneficial for my game. I play travel basketball for the Connecticut Storm, and those games are always super competitive, so that has kept me in good shape,” Catie says. “I work out on top of that to make sure that I’m getting stronger, and that’s also made me a better player.”

Coach Woods credits Catie for being a tenacious rebounder. At 5-foot-6, Catie is typically one of the shorter players on the court, but still has a knack for cleaning up on the glass.

“For a point guard to be one of the leading rebounders every night is really impressive and valuable to our team,” Woods says. “She’s not all that big, so her coming up with those boards is a testament to how hard she’s working when she’s on the court.”

Woods adds that Catie is “the heart and soul” of the Huskies. Woods says that Catie hardly ever comes off the floor since her contributions are so critical.

“I struggle to find time for her to rest, and I put so much on her, because when she’s off the court, things change for our team,” says Woods.

As impressive as Catie’s stats are this season, she says there are still areas of her game that she is working hard to improve upon.

“My shooting is not the best,” she says. “It’s gotten better, but I can always work on that.”

With its berth in states secured, Morgan is focused on finishing the regular season strong and heading into the playoffs with some momentum.

“I think we have what it takes to win the rest of our regular-season games this year and make a good run at the State Tournament,” says Catie. “I would love for nothing more than to win a state title for Leah, because she’s a senior. It would be awesome to see her go out on top.”

Off the court, Catie is a stellar student who has a 4.0 grade-point average. Last year, she was named a Scholar Athlete for the Shoreline Conference as a result of her academic achievements.

“I push myself just like I do in sports with school,” Catie says. “That leads to me getting good grades, and I’m really proud of that.”

With one more year of high school to go, Catie already has her sights set on playing basketball at the next level. Of course, right now her main mission is to help the Huskies have a campaign to remember this winter.

“I’ve looked into some schools already like Connecticut College, Assumption, and Stonehill,” Catie says. “I’m just going to take it one day at a time and enjoy the rest of this season. I want to win it all with this team.”


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