The Raiders are down five seniors from last year and don’t have much returning varsity experience with which to replace them. Still, second-year coach Mike Labonte said, “Should be a fun and exciting season at Oak Hill.”
Sophomore Desirae Dumais is back at point guard after leading the team with 10.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.4 steals per game and made the Mountain Valley Conference’s second team as a freshman last year.
Forward Abby Nadeau also played a big role in 2016-17 as a sophomore, and it will be even bigger this season, particularly in a leadership sense.
“They’re the two kids that played a lot of varsity minutes last year,” Labonte said.
“If they could get 33 minutes in a 32-minute game, they did,” Labonte added with a laugh.
Labonte said the goal, as it is every year, is to advance far enough in the B South postseason to play in Portland.
“The key for us is just can those kids that are all vying for the varsity minutes, can they play with confidence and can they grow.?” Labonte said. “If they do, in the league that we play in, we can win a pretty good bunch of games.”
Despite the Raiders’ inexperience, Labonte said they will play more uptempo than last year.
They’ll also be deeper, possibly with eight or nine players in the rotation.
“We do have some kids that have played basketball, they’ve got a little bit of experience, and got a lot of energy and are great kids,” Labonte said. “I think we’re going to compete pretty well.”
Coach: Mike Labonte (second year)
Conference: Mountain Valley; Class: B South
Last year’s results: 8-10
Returning athletes: Senior — Kaitlyn Ridley; Juniors — Abby Nadeau, Sara Moring, Sadie Waterman; Sophomore — Des Dumais.
Key losses: Brianna Mulherin, Maddy Bennett, Charlotte Waterman.
Promising newcomers: Juniors — Jade Sturtevant, Lexi Faucher; Sophomore — Julia Noel.