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Marlborough’s Emily Reilly doing it all for Clark basketball

Clark University basketball's Emily Reilly.

Clark University

Clark University basketball's Emily Reilly.

At Clark, Reilly leads in scoring, rebounds

As a youngster shooting hoops in the driveway of their Marlborough home with her father and older sisters, Emily Reilly made it emphatically clear what the future would bring.

“I said I’d be playing basketball at UConn and then become the first woman in the NBA,’’ recalled Reilly, who these days is doing just about everything on the court for the Clark University women’s team.

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As of last weekend, the 5-foot-7 junior guard was leading the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference in scoring (17.7 points per game) and was Clark’s top rebounder (7.6 per game). She was also connecting on 49.6 percent of her field goal attempts.

“When I saw Emily play at Marlborough High, I thought she’d be a sensational player here and she’s exceeded my expectations,’’ said coach Pat Glispin, whose team was off to a 7-3 start in her 29th year at Clark. “To be our leading scorer and rebounder and to also take on a tough defensive matchup every game says a lot about the caliber of player she is. Emily has the ability to take over games in crucial stretches.’’

Reilly, a team and Midland Wachusett League MVP in high school, is part of a junior core that has helped turn the Worcester school’s program around.

Clark won just five games in the 2009-10 season, and improved to nine wins during Reilly’s freshman year, when she earned a starting role. The Cougars went 16-11 last season — their best record in five years — and advanced to the ECAC Division 3 tournament.

A four-year starter at Marlborough High for coach Pat Kiley,  Reilly was named to the NEWMAC second team last season after averaging 14.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, and reaching double figures in all but one game.

Reilly likes hitting the defensive boards and jumping out on the break with point guard Ashleigh Condon, a junior.

“We work great together and we know one another’s moves,’’ said Reilly, who still wears the knee pads from her high school and North Central Blaze AAU days for good luck.

“The biggest thing for me is to learn more and improve from year to year. I like to go to the basket, I can use my quickness to go down low, and when it’s time to rebound, I’ll be right there.’’

She was coached by her father, Joseph Reilly, at the Marlborough Boys & Girls Club and at Immaculate Conception School in Marlborough.

“We still go out to the driveway and always talk basketball,’’ said Reilly.

Glispin has high praise: “I know that when I look back on my career, Emily will be in that top group of players I’ve had the privilege to coach. Every day I see her play I consider myself very lucky to have her,’

Players on Clark’s roster with local roots include senior forward and cocaptain Kelsey Giedymin  (Shrewsbury High), junior guard Annmarie Fransen  (Belmont High), sophomore forward Victoria Russo  (Arlington High), and freshman guard Brooke Brennan  of Weston (Rivers School).

Local connections on Gridiron Club’s list

Middlebury College quarterback McCallum Foote  of Newton, Framingham State University running back Melikke Van Alstyne, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology defensive line coach Al Pogarian , a Natick native, will be honored next Thursday during the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston’s Bob Whelan College Football Awards Night.

Foote and Van Alstyne, both juniors, are sharing the Joe Zabilski Award as the Division 2-3 New England Offensive Players of the Year, and Pogarian is the Division 2-3 Assistant Coach of the Year.

Foote (Noble & Greenough School) set New England Small College Athletic Conference and Middlebury records for passing yards (2,897) and touchdowns (31) this fall, and was the NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year. Middlebury went 7-1.

Van Alstyne capped off a sensational season by rushing 31 times for 227 yards and a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns in the Rams’ 20-19 NCAA Division 3 first-round playoff loss to Cortland State.

Pogarian, who played in a Division 1 Super Bowl for Natick High and in the I-AA playoffs as a standout center at the University of Massachusetts, joined the MIT staff in 2007. His resume includes coaching at Waltham High and at Dean College in Franklin.

The event is named in memory of Whelan, who coached the Natick High football team to its first Super Bowl win in 1974 and was also the high school’s track coach and the Natick school district’s physical education director, died at age 71 in 1999. He was a star running back at Boston University.

The dinner will be held at 6 p.m. at the Westin hotel on Third Avenue in Waltham. For information, go to www.gridclubofgreaterboston.com. 

Notables

Brookline’s Tucker Halpern , a junior forward at Brown, drained a game-winning 3-pointer to cap a 28-point performance in a stunning 69-68 win over Providence College on Saturday night. The Noble & Greenough graduate earned Player of the Week honors in the Ivy League on Monday . . . Longtime Cambridge Sports Union member Terry McNatt of Needham was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame. McNatt is a veteran of 10 Boston Marathons with a personal best time of 2:36.06, and has won his age division in New England Runner’s Pub Series three times and the overall title twice . . . Teens Erik Gudmunson  of Medway, Nicholas Brown  of Sudbury, Aaron Gustafson  of Franklin, and Emily McQuaid  of Wrentham turned in strong performances for the first-place Bluefish Swim Club at the New England Senior Swimming Championships at Boston University.

Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@rcn.com.
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