, Newburyport, MA

January 8, 2013

Building blocks at Triton

Girls basketball team has sights on setting foundation for future

By Jim Sullivan

---- — BYFIELD — Things have not gone quite as well as Triton girls basketball coach Karen Christian would like over a quarter of the way through the season.

Currently standing at 1-7, the Vikes have had a tough time finding a offensive rhythm as last night’s 52-16 loss to North Reading demonstrated.

But there have been signs of life in the defense, though North Reading jumped out to a 21-6 lead in the first quarter, the Triton girls showed they could hold the Hornets to only eight unanswered points in the second quarter.

Clearly the defense is a place to start, and Christian says she would like to do just that.

“That’s really been our goal all season,” said Christian. “To focus on our defense and try to turn (the other team) over. Generate some offense from our defense. We’re getting there, but it’s getting (the players) out of their comfort zone and what they are used to. They are young, so it’s changing the mind set is what we are trying to do — starting from the defense.”

In a sport like hockey, a discipline like this is fairly regular, building from the net-out. But in hoops, it’s a different animal all together.

“It’s a tougher thing,” said Christian. “It’s just being aggressive, trying to get in their face, trying to get some tips. Getting (the other team) out of their comfort zone. Not giving them time to set up their offense so we can do our thing.”

With only two seniors on the squad and three juniors, these Vikes have a chance to build for the future and hope to find their shooting arms along the way.

“All of what we are doing this year is building toward next year, but without losing sight of what we’re trying to accomplish this year,” says Christian. “Getting the younger kids playing time is going to help us more.”

Currently leading the way for Triton is junior shooting guard Amanda Colpitts, who has been holding the line since she was a sophomore.

“We want to work off our defense because we’re stronger on the defensive end,” said Colpitts. “The stronger we hold teams, the less chances they have to score, the more opportunity we get to score. That is what we are trying to do.”

“We have a lot of small, fast players,” said Colpitts. “So, if we just stay with them, we can work off of that.”

One of the advantages of a rebuilding year is, of course, the chance to give the younger players the opportunity to go head to head with some of the best players in the league.

“We’re playing good players,” said Colpitts, who credits freshman Christine Ciccone and sophomores Nicole Sullivan and Hannah Canning as younger players who are beating a path to the future. “We have freshmen, and they are going against good players, and we’re bettering ourselves that way.”

For now, Colpitts says that her team is working hard to turn things around, and her coach says that is just what she wants to see.

“They come every day willing to work and trying to get better,” Christian says of her Vikings. “And you can’t ask much more than that right now.”