ATTLEBORO — There isn’t much offseason rust to find on the Bishop Feehan girls’ basketball team.
The No. 2 Shamrocks opened their season with a dominant 66-24 nonleague victory at home against No. 5 Woburn on Friday in a rematch of last year’s Division 1 semifinal. Nine different Bishop Feehan players scored as they overwhelmed the Tanners with precise passing and aggressive defense.
“These kids, they’re really fun to work with, and they enjoy working together,” said Bishop Feehan coach Amy Dolores. “So once they have a little success moving the ball, it makes them want to do it more. So for them to share the ball and be that unselfish this early in the season is really great.”
After both teams were scoreless for the game’s first 2:28, the Shamrocks went to work.
Junior guard Maddy Steel finished back-to-back contact layups in the first quarter that each drew Woburn fouls and finished with a game-high 15 points. Though she’s widely regarded as one of the state’s best shooters, Steel put her physical drives in the spotlight amid the victory.
“I’ve definitely been trying to work on it because I know a lot of teams will be on me on the 3-point line after last year,” she said. “I’ve been trying to work on different ways I can score, and that’s no doubt something I’ve definitely tried to work on in the offseason.”
When the Tanners went to zone defense, the Shamrocks didn’t miss a beat, consistently finding cutters in the middle of the floor, collapsing the defense, and spraying the ball out to shooters. Bishop Feehan stretched its lead to 27-11 by halftime.
The Shamrocks collectively put the game out of reach with transition playmaking. Junior Charlotte Adams-Lopez (10 points) dished out a handful of impressive passes. Sophomore Mollie Mullen broke out early in the third quarter with two steals, one resulting in a layup and one leading to an assist to Julia Webster.
Mullen, from Dighton, finished with 12 points, and emerged as a breakout player to watch.
“This is her first real taste of varsity experience,” Dolores said. “She worked a lot over the summer and she fits so nicely with this style of play. She was ready to go be with everybody here in the bright lights.”
Mckenna Morrison led Woburn in the loss with 9 points.
The Shamrocks are out to avenge their loss in the Division 1 state championship to Andover last March. With so much of their core returning, plus some breakout players like Mullen, they’ve been able to get a head start on the competition.
“We’re already further along than we were last year,” Steel said. “We also had really good chemistry [last season] but it helps that we’ve been playing together for so long.”
Ethan Fuller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.