Newington's Marcus Guadarrama
The Newington basketball program will have a lot of new faces on the court this season, but that doesn’t mean that both the boys and girls Indians will be any less competitive.
The boys, who are led by veteran head coach Scot Wenzel, have only one returning starter from last season. The four new starters will be looking to build off the success of last seasons’ playoff team that beat Kennedy in the opening round of the Class LL playoffs. The 2012-2013 Indians were eventually eliminated from the postseason by Fairfield Prep, who went on to play in the championship game.
“It is a young team with many new faces,” Wenzel said, “We expect our seniors to help lead on and off the court.”
Wenzel and his team will begin the season with four consecutive home games, so that should help ease the transition and build chemistry for the new starters. One of those home games will be an early season rivalry game against the Wethersfield Eagles on Saturday, December 28th at 6 p.m.
The girls will be looking to improve on a 10-11 finished last season and are led by new head coach Rick Bangs. They too will have a vastly different starting lineup, but that doesn’t shake the confidence of their first year head coach.
“We lost some solid senior leadership last season with the graduation of Juliana Houldcroft, Jalen Middlebrooks, and Alex Marques,” Bangs said, “However, we have the benefit of bringing back some very talented players who are seniors this season. These seniors have done a great job assuming the leadership roles thus far.”
Bangs believes that playing hard, fundamentals, and a strong defense will help the girls take the next step and possibly make a playoff run.
“We have a highly competitive schedule, and each game will be a test,” Bangs added, “If we continue to develop the way we have, we will be a tough team to deal with in March.”
Bangs coaching tenure is off to a sizzling start, thanks to the sharp shooting and tenacious defense of Stasha Greenalah. The senior guard scored 18 points and registered nine steals in Newington’s opener, a 47-35 victory over East Catholic.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin