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Senior captain Elle Petra and the Guilford girls’ basketball squad are looking to have a solid second half of the season in their first year with Head Coach Bernie Brennan. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Junior Moira Kellaher scored five points and grabbed seven rebounds when the Indians took a loss against Mercy in last week’s action. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Miabella Diaz is making solid contributions for the Guilford girls’ basketball team as a sophomore this season. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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The Guilford girls’ basketball team has a record of 3-7 through the first half of its season, but first-year Head Coach Bernie Brennan is seeing improvement from his young club on a daily basis. The Indians feature two seniors with a mixture of juniors, sophomores, and freshmen on their roster this year. Coach Brennan said that everyone is playing hard every night in an effort to build some momentum in the second half.
“We definitely haven’t lost through a lack of hustle,” said Brennan. “We have many good, young players in the program. Both our junior varsity [6-2 record] and freshman teams [4-1] are doing well. That’s a positive sign.”
Guilford has earned a 40-21 win over Avon and a 68-28 victory versus Career this winter. Three of the Indians’ seven losses have come by 10 points or less. Brennan said that defense has been the calling card for Guilford, which is allowing an average of just 41.8 points per game.
“The defense, without question, is the strongest part of our game,” Brennan said. “We use strictly a man-to-man defense. It may be tougher for the kids, but I feel it’s the best defense to use.”
Guilford took three defeats in last week’s action, losing to Law (56-40) on Jan. 13, Mercy (42-25) on Jan. 15, and Lyman Hall (44-40) on Jan. 17. Senior captain Elle Petra had 10 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in the loss to Law, while sophomore Miabella Diaz scored eight points against Mercy. Junior Moira Kellaher had five points and seven rebounds in the Mercy game.
Sophomore Faith O’Donnell scored 12 points for Guilford versus Lyman Hall. Diaz added nine points on the night. Freshman Kat Baseggio posted a season-high 10 rebounds to go along with two assists and two steals.
Petra, a 5-foot-10 post player, is averaging nine points a game for Guilford this season. Petra leads the Indians with fellow senior captain Sam Leiby, who plays point guard.
“Elle is tough around the basket. She’s physical inside and can score on put-backs. Elle has some Division III schools looking at her,” Coach Brennan said. “Sam’s our best shooter and can run the offense and shoot, as well.”
Kellaher, a 5-foot-7 guard, is making contributions on all ends of the floor this year. She’s been a linchpin for the Indians on defense.
“Moira has speed and is athletic and can cover the court,” said Brennan. “When we go with our pressure defenses, she’s the one who goes after the ball.”
Diaz, O’Donnell, and Lauren Cunneen are part of a promising crop of sophomores on Guilford’s roster. Brennan knows that getting his underclass athletes varsity experience will help the Indians the rest of this year, as well as in future campaigns.
“We are that consummate work in progress. We’re going to get better with each game,” Brennan said. “Our kids are patient. They’re hard working and want to learn. It’s a nice situation for me to have as the team’s new coach. We are still looking at some winnable games.”
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