NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

December 24, 2012

Former River Rival point guards running the show in college

(Continued)

The sophomore feels her team is poised to improve upon its semifinal conference tournament finish from a year ago after such a difficult opening to the season.

“I think it’s going to help us a lot going into the season,” Rock said. “We saw our schedule and saw how tough our opponents were. But our coach has always said he does that for a reason, to get us ready for our league play. We know that every game in the league is very competitive, so we have to come ready to play every game, and I think with the tough non-league schedule it’s going to make us even more prepared than games that wouldn’t especially motivate us.

“Our major goal was to win the conference the Liberty League and I think we could really be a contender for that.”

McNamara playing at national level

At Southern Maine, McNamara has led the Huskies back to prominence at the national level. where her team is ranked 16th nationally in the current D3hoops poll after a 9-0 start.

The junior point guard, who took Pentucket to the TD Banknorth Garden three times, took a small step back a year ago struggling with her confidence after a brilliant freshman year earned her league rookie of the year.

Having a resurgent season leading her team in minutes played and averaging 7.0 points and 3.1 assists per game, her coach Gary Fifield said his point guard has been a consistent performer on a balanced team in which six players average between seven and 14 points per game.

“She has great basketball I.Q.,” said Fifield, whose Southern Maine squad will play at Salem State on back-to-back nights Saturday and Sunday. “She just doesn’t make mistakes, and this year she’s playing with a little more confidence than last year.

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