Women’s basketball optimistic after Payne’s first season

Castleton #12 Maggie McKearin looks for a pass

Up and down the court the Spartans women’s basketball team went as they battled to end the season on good note, but unfortunately fell short 69-53 when they took on Southern Maine Saturday Feb. 17 at Southern Maine. 

This final matchup wrapped up the Castleton women’s basketball team’s 2023-2024 season and their first season under head coach Kathleen Payne. 

The Spartans finished their season with a 10-15 record. They didn’t make the LEC playoffs this season, ending with a 4-12 in-conference record after being 9-7 in conference play just a season ago. 

Although Castleton still finished with a double-digit win total for the 22nd consecutive season, the team had to battle with adversity throughout the season with growing pains as a younger team.

“I think this year was definitely a learning year for everyone. With new coaches, we all had to adapt to changes. Trial and error definitely occurred throughout the season as well. Low numbers was also rough for us, having less players this year and battling injuries on top of that really hurt us throughout the course of the season,” said sophomore Kathryn Moore. 

With the early end to the season being disappointing and the team facing some growing pains in their first year under Payne, the team is only graduating Elise Magro, who found herself in the Castleton record books this season.

#23 Stasia Epler moves the ball up the court

Magro cemented herself in Spartan history putting herself in second all-time on the leading scorers list with 1,660 points over her five-season career. She also finished second all-time in made field goals, free throws and steals, and third all-time in assists. 

Magro understood that there was adversity the team had to face in the season due to being young and also not having as many players as prior seasons. 

“I think the biggest difference was numbers and experience at the college level. That was definitely the biggest difference,” Magro said. 

With the Spartans returning eight players next season and adding more through the offseason, the team seems to understand what this season came to be.

“It hasn’t been as successful this year. There have been a lot new additions to the team, so it has been an adjustment. Overall, we had a good season as a team and we were able to make the most of it,” said sophomore Emily Adams.

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