Conditioned to win
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When things go wrong, they know it is time to go back to practice, where they will sweat their way through their problems.
“It’s going to take some time,” Burke said. “But the more we get in the gym, the better we’ll be.”
Bellingham girls on a winning streak
In his first season as head coach of the Bellingham High girls’ squad, Dan Nagle has the team on pace for its highest win total in three years.
As of last week, the Blackhawks were at 6-2, and on a five-game winning streak. The team won eight games last season, four in 2010-11, and was winless in 2009-10.
“The girls, the town, the administration, everybody’s been really supportive,” Nagle said. “I think everyone thought this could be a pretty good year and everybody’s really responding well, especially us being off to a good start . . . I’ve got nothing but positive support, and I’ve enjoyed every second of being at Bellingham.”
A 2005 graduate of Norton High, Nagle went on to play at Emmanuel College before deciding to focus on coaching, and began his career on the sidelines in the AAU ranks as a college sophomore. After a two-year stint as the junior varsity coach at Norton, he became an assistant for the women’s team at University of Massachusetts Boston last season, and then accepted the Bellingham job.
Nagle’s approach to half-court man-to-man defense, one he learned under Norton boys’ coach Marc Liberatore , has helped Bellingham limit opponents to an average of just 33 points per game.
Nagle credits the players — including senior cocaptain and 5-5 point guard Meg Edwards , 5-9 senior cocaptain Nikki Remy , 5-7 junior guard Karina Saletnik , and 5-6 junior guard Meg Casey — for adapting so quickly to his style. Nine of the team’s 12 players had varsity experience prior to this season.
“Two or three years ago, it was a situation where younger kids got thrown into the varsity mix because there wasn’t much else,” Nagle said. “I’m kind of benefiting from the fact that I have 12th- and 11th-graders that have had three and four years of varsity. Now it’s like they’re used to it.”
Hudson’s Loewen reaches 1,000 points
Jake Loewen , Hudson High’s 5-11 senior shooting guard and captain, scored 21 points in a 71-51 loss to Algonquin Regional on Dec. 28.
The last two had some personal significance: a pair of free throws with 15 seconds left gave Loewen 1,000 points for his career.
Phil Perry can be reached at email@example.com.