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The Yankee Express

Goals Being Accomplished at Bay Path

The Bay Path Voke Tech Minutemen girls' basketball team. Photo submitted

By Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer

Prior to the season getting underway, coach Randy Schulman and his team set some goals like most teams do. Coming into his inaugural season as a head coach for the Bay Path girls basketball team Schulman thought that he had himself a good team, but one that could also use some improving.

One of the first goals for the Minutemen was to capture the Colonial League and that has been checked off. Bay Path has accomplished goal number one, something that hasn’t happened in some seven years. Goal number two would be to make the State Tournament; the girls have qualified to participate in the Division 2 Tournament, but it will not be easy as they have moved up from Division 4. The team has also qualified for the State Vocational Tournament, where last winter the team fell to Mashpee in the play in round.

Two other goals still on the table for Bay Path to achieve are to get into either the Clark Tournament or the Central Mass Tournament.

“The Clark Tournament is historical and it would be a great honor to be part of it, you get to see teams that you normally don’t see throughout the year,” said Schulman. “Last year they added a girls bracket with four teams in the large and four in the small division; this year they’re expanding it to be eight teams in each division as the boys have.”

At the time of this writing the Minutemen were currently 12-2 overall and 8-0 in the league. Their two losses came early in the season, the second and third games, to tough Division 1 schools. According to the coach, despite the losses, the girls continued to battle to the end of each game. 

After opening the season 1-2, Bay Path reeled off 11 straight wins and Schulman believes the team never deviated from what they were doing right out of the gate.

“Honestly, there was not much difference to why we turned things around to have success,” the Bay Path coach said. “The girls continued to play hard every game, night in and night out. This team is a pleasure to coach and the girls are following game plans and I am very excited about our potential.” 

Bay Path will have another shot at Acton/Boxboro, one of the two teams to beat the Minutemen early in the season near the end of the season. The second meeting will show the first-year coach how the young team has improved and handles the situation the second time around.

Schulman noted that the Minutemen do not have that one prolific scorer that can take over a game. Instead, he has five girls that can average 6-10 points per game and on any given night a different athlete will step up to be the leading scorer and carry the team. 

One of the key players to the team’s success has been guard Alison Welton. The junior has not only been a playmaker for the Minutemen but can do it all for the team while averaging 10 points a night.

Another junior, Kendall Bond, has been putting up 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds per contest as the team’s center this winter.

“She’s a forward, but we needed her to step up and be our center. She is our biggest girl, but not nearly as big as the other teams we play,” Schulman said. “Most games, if not all of them, we are playing a team with a bigger center, but it doesn’t bother her – she continues to battle. She also sees the floor well and is a great passer.”

Anika Ferrantino, another guard, has been a solid player all year long and is probably the best defensive player on the squad. According to the coach, the sophomore guard is looking and wants to cover the opposition’s best player, she wants that challenge. The sophomore is averaging around 9 points per game during the season. 

Having only two seniors, Bay Path is a very young team when it takes to the court. Maggie Mullaly and Noalani Perez are the co-captains of the team and although they both find themselves coming off the bench they have contributed to the success the team has been having.

Schulman doesn’t go with a set lineup night after night; his starting lineup rotates depending on who the squad is playing. All of the girls have not only bought into the premise, but they put forth their best effort and know everyone will get her share of minutes.

Two sophomores who have been impressive and played some decent basketball are Gabi LaPan and Allie Klar. The duo have been with the team since their freshman campaign and have shown that they can take their game to the next level.

Arianna Gonzalez, a role player, Hannah Cavan, a very scrappy player and Kortnie Adams, a great defensive player who can shoot the 3, have all been involved with the success of the team. Sophomore Aliyah Gonyea and freshman Kayla Schroeder round out the Bay Path team.

As the team finishes up the first season under Schulman, the coach is looking forward to what else they can accomplish.

It has been great coaching these girls,” Schulman said. “It’s been very exciting and I am looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish during the tough part of the schedule over the last four games.”

Bay Path earned the right to play in the Clark Tournament Girls Large Division as the number 7 seed. Unfortunately, the Minutemen could not upset the number 2 Northbridge squad and were eliminated in a tough, hard fought 44-39 contest.