BENNINGTON — The Mount Anthony Union High School girls basketball team made a run into the Division I semifinal in 2014. After an unceremonious exit in the playdown round, upset by Burlington, the Patriots are hungry to get back to UVM.
"They know what it's like, they played at UVM," said coach Brian Harrington. "They want to get back."
The Patriots are led by juniors Brianna Legacy and leading scorer from a year ago in Madison Little. Each has the ability to score 25 on any night, but also the opportunity to give their teammates chances to score.
The third captain, after Brianna and Madison, is senior Kathryn Frasier. She will be a major part of the offense this year, working hard to get rebounds and to facilitate her teammates.
The offense will change a bit this season as well. In the past couple of years, Harrington kept 15 or 16 players on his varsity to take advantage of other team's having short benches and less conditioning. This year, he only has 12 players on the varsity.
"We're not doing the hockey shift," Harrington said. "We have a bunch of kids that can play and we have some good shooters. We'll [play] up tempo as much as we can, keep those three in as much as we can. We've done a nice job of sharing the basketball and they all play solid defense."
With a year of varsity under their belts, players like Olivia Pembroke, Jordyn Burke, Taylor Paquin, Taylor Rennell and Michalia Glanovsky will get a decent amount of minutes.
"It's their torch. It'll be key to see how they step up and minimize turnovers," Harrington said.
New players include juniors Brenna Harris and Ally White and sophomores Anna Iannotti and Kaity O'Brien. Iannotti follows in her older sister Abby's footsteps at Mount Anthony, but the younger Iannotti plays more of a post game.
"She's got good hands around the basket," Harrington said. "Ally and Brenna and Kaity are all up from junior varsity. They are working hard at practice and they've turned into good shooters."
Mount Anthony's schedule is tough, facing the usual Marble Valley League, but also playing a home-and-home with defending champions CVU.
"Our core players need a tough schedule, they play good competition all year long," Harrington said. "We'll drop some games, but the expectation is to keep getting better and peak at the right time in February."