News Briefs

Eagles set to soar to new heights in 2016-17

POULTNEY—The future is now for the Green Mountain College women’s basketball team. With a roster comprised of virtually all sophomores and freshmen, the team has gelled over the past four weeks and is set to begin a new era of Eagles basketball as the team opens the regular season on the road Thursday at 5:30 p.m. against Mount Holyoke.
Only five members of last year’s team returned from a season which saw the Eagles struggle to a 1-23 record. Those returners are highly motivated to demonstrate that all the challenges faced last season were needed in order for growth to occur. Newly minted head coach Brad Rideout will continue with the building effort this season after joining the coaching staff in July.
Leading the Eagles into new territory this season will be a pair of captains. Casie Sharp (Newbury, Mass.) returns for her third season on the hardwood at the forward position. Sharp is a textbook example of what a team needs in its senior leadership, encouraging and guiding the team’s younger players and demonstrating the value of hard work and grit.
The other captain is guard Mercedes Rideout (Nashville, Tenn.). The sophomore is more of a lead-by-example type of captain who brings a scorer’s mentality along with a high basketball IQ. Rideout is the team’s leading scorer among the returning players, having averaged 8.8 points and 2.4 threes per game.
Guards Suzanna Moses (Strafford, Vt.) and Kali DeMarco (Mechanicville, N.Y.) showed glimpses of potential in their freshmen seasons, averaging 4.2 and 3.8 points per game, respectively. Moses demonstrated that she can shoot with some range while being tough on the glass in her short debut as injuries limited her availability last season. DeMarco is quick on both sides of the ball, providing good defense and a playmaker’s vision on offense.
Rounding out the returners are guards Sydney Hill (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Kayla Richards (Boston, Mass.). Hill had a solid start to her freshman campaign, but it unfortunately only lasted through the first seven games of the season. She will help provide a steady hand on the controls with solid ball-handling ability while playing good defense.
Richards showed she put in work during the off season, coming into the preseason looking faster and more agile than she had shown in her first go around. She will help the Eagles in a variety of ways, looking to use her ability to out-hustle her opponents for loose balls and getting up and down the court.
Five new faces will adorn the roster in 2016-17 with all but one being a freshman. Tyah Culp (Eatonton, Ga.) adds to the team’s front court, giving the Eagles some additional height to pair with Sharp. The junior has a great deal of athleticism, which she uses as a defender to stay in front and also to get out on the break.
Freshman Taylor Hill (Ronceverte, W. Va.) brings an all-around skillset to the wing position. She has the ability and mindset to elevate above her defender and is adept at corralling rebounds on both ends of the floor outside of her area. She will be a threat, offensively shooting the ball and driving to the hoop.
Berlanda Dely (Riverview, Fla.) can be explosive with her natural quickness and excellent athleticism. She will be relied on to get out and lead the break during transition. As the freshman guard continues to develop her outside shot, she will open up more room to drive the ball into the paint.
Laney Trammell (North Fort Myers, Fla.) gives the Eagles some much needed height in the paint, standing at six feet tall. She will need to demonstrate a nose for the ball on both the offensive and defensive glass. Despite her length, the freshman center does not primarily live around the basket, helping to space the floor with her extended range outside the paint.
Rachel Moore (Sharon, Vt.) has a scorer’s mentality and likes to push the ball, which will help break any press, as she is also quite skilled with the ball in her hands. The freshman guard will help put some pressure on opposing defenses, opening up opportunities for herself and her teammates.
With a team as young as the Eagles, Coach Rideout will have to endure some bumps along the road, but this year’s squad has the ability to make great inroads for the healthy future of women’s basketball at Green Mountain College.
Upon conclusion of the game at Mount Holyoke, the Eagles will have to wait over a week until after the Thanksgiving break for their season home opener as they will host Colby-Sawyer in conference play on Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Mountain Times Newsletter

Sign up below to receive the weekly newsletter, which also includes top trending stories and what all the locals are talking about!