We are the champions!

The Castleton State College girl’s basketball team came out on top yet again with a 51-42 victory over Suffolk to earned the team’s first ECAC New England Championship on Sunday afternoon.
The Spartans were led by a dominating defensive effort from Senior guard Kelly Conway, who was named Most Outstanding Player. Although she only scored three points, she more than made up for it with five rebounds, two steals and a pair of blocks. She showed everyone why she has been named Defensive Player of the Year three years in a row.  She was locked in on Suffolk’s guard Jacqueline Vienneau causing seven turnovers. The Spartans held their opponents to shooting 29.6 percent from the floor, which was the 15th time they have stopped a team from shooting over 30 percent.
Although it was a defensive battle to the end, Castleton had no shortage of offensive weapons, which has been a key element to their success. According to Conway, “the biggest factor to our teams amazing success this year was the fact that we had such diverse players. We had so many threats it was hard to stop us.”
Sunday’s game proved this statement to be true and the Spartans defense seemed to communicate without even looking at each other. When one player stepped up or was slightly out of position, another Spartan would slide in and cover the seams.
 Castleton’s offensive attack was led by junior Alyssa Leonard and sophomore guard Jade Desroches, who came off the bench to score 13 points, snaged five rebounds and had a career-high three blocks. Leonard scored 14 of her own, along with eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. Senior Tarryn Bolognani dominated the boards bringing down a total of nine rebounds for her side.
 Vienneau was the high-scorer with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists for Suffolk. Forward Jennifer Ruys also contributed to Suffolk’s attack, adding nine points along with seven rebounds and was a force in the paint blocking six shots.
 Castleton can only hope their success carries into the next season; the returning players have big shoes to fill. When asked what she thought the team could do different next season to continue their success, Conway replied, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I wouldn’t change a thing!”

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