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North: Girls’ basketball players, teams to watch

Girls’ players to watch

Devon Caveney , Andover: After averaging 10.5 points per game as a junior, the 5-8 senior worked to expand her offensive game to include more off-the-dribble penetration. Primarily a three-point threat last season with 35 makes, the Golden Warriors’ top returning scorer hopes to play basketball at Williams next year.

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Olivia Healy , Reading: The 5-10 senior led the MIAA in scoring last year (21.8 points per game). A Middlesex League all-star, the University of Richmond-bound guard has a chance to solidify her preseason stature as the state’s best player.

Casey McLaughlin , Central Catholic: As a four-year varsity player who missed a portion of the regular season last year with a minor knee injury, the 6-foot senior forward averaged 14.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. She will play collegiately at Stonehill.

Catherine Stinson , Lynn English: The 5-7 junior was the Northeast Conference Large MVP as a sophomore after averaging 14.9 points per game. She combines a strong outside shot and an ability to drive the lane, with a willingness to create for her teammates (averaging nearly 8 assists per game).

Masey Zegarowski , Ipswich: The 5-7 sophomore point guard returns for her second season after averaging 12.5 points and 6.3 assists per game. The Cape Ann all-league selection boasts a high basketball IQ and true point guard abilities, which are complemented by an explosive first step and 3-point shooting range.

Five girls’ teams to watch

Andover (27-0): With Nicole Boudreau, the state’s two-time Player of the Year, now playing at Boston College, Andover will have a tall task making a four-peat as Division 1 state champs. But the Golden Warriors are committed to give it their best shot.

Reading (25-0): Despite losing Assumption-bound guard Morgan O’Brien for the season (torn ACL), the Rockets return the leading scorer in the state, Olivia Healy (21.8 points per game). Whether they can repeat as Division 2 state champs, however, will depend on other players stepping up.

Pentucket (23-4): Last year, the Sachems won their final 12 games to capture the program’s first Division 3 state title. The squad lost four seniors to graduation, but will feature a deeper bench and three experienced senior starters.

Central Catholic (14-9): With four of five starters back from last season’s squad that lost in the
Division 1 North tourney
to eventual champion
Andover, the Raiders are
a very focused and motivated group.

Lynn English (21-3): The Bulldogs return four starters from a team that finished 21-3 and captured the Northeastern Conference title. After going 16-0 in their conference, English defeated Everett in a Division 1 North first-round game before losing to Lincoln-Sudbury in the quarterfinals.

Paul Lazdowski can be reached at pmlazdowski@gmail.com.
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