Sprinting up and down the court, moving the ball, crossing people up and driving to the hoop.
This has been the story for Castleton women’s basketball standout Elise Magro all season. The Spartans are currently sitting with a 4-4 record despite the team being a bit handcuffed due to the limited number of players they have.
Magro has led the team this season as a graduate student who is averaging a career high 21 points per game. On Nov. 14 against Norwich, Magro set a new career high when she posted a 32-point night to lead the Spartans to victory 66-61.
Through adversity of having only eight healthy players out of their nine on roster at the moment, the team has found a way to succeed with big minutes by their starters. The team has five players averaging over 27 minutes a game over the course of this season.
“I think the season has started out decent. It’s been hard as we only have eight healthy girls since one is hurt and won’t be back for a while. Even with that though, our team has conditioned to work hard and run with teams that have 12-18 players,” said sophomore Emily Adams.
In addition to low numbers, the team also has first-year head coach Kathleen Payne, who the team has seemingly rallied around through adversity and learning a new coach’s style. Payne was also joined by first year assistant coach, Jasmin Tirado. Longtime coach Tim Barrett recently took a job as athletic director at VTSU Castleton.
“The adjustment was pretty smooth honestly. We gained two coaches who are consistent about making our team better and want to be competitive in our league, which is awesome,” said sophomore Kathryn Moore.
“I think the team is adjusting good with the new coaches. It was hard at first since we obviously didn’t know their style of coaching, but we soon realized they are our biggest supporters. They constantly push us to work hard and become the best player we can on top of gaining our confidence in our abilities,” Adams said.
Moving forward, the Spartans look to close out the first semester of play against Western Connecticut hoping to move to (updated record). When the Spartans return from break, they open up against RPI, which the Spartans narrowly beat last season.
“I think coming back from break, we have to keep the same intensity we have had so far and pick each other up going into playoffs in February,” Moore said.
“I think to be successful moving forward into next semester, we need to continue to trust the process which is working hard in practice and pushing each other and trusting the game plan we have going into each game,” (said) Magro said.
Although the team has been off to an up and down start, players say they look to continue their success through the adversity they have faced by attacking it head on and embracing it.
“A big key that we work on is conditioning, since most teams have at least 15 while we are running with eight. Another thing is communication. As long as we keep talking through everything, working together, and staying positive I think we can have a really good season,” Adams said.