After their first game of the new year — a loss to Walpole, 50-44 — the Wellesley High girls were in an unusual spot. The reigning five-time Bay State League champs had a losing record.
An ankle injury to last season’s league MVP, 6-foot-2 senior center Grace Miller , and a season-ending knee injury to senior captain Lee Berndsen quickly left the Raiders without two starters early. Ankle tendinitis for junior guard Sophia Mavrommatis compounded their problems, as did the flu, which spread through the locker room.
But Miller returned last week, and the roster is getting healthier. Senior captain Charlotte Bussema helped keep the group going, and with the aid of three freshmen — point guard Emma Ivey , 6-foot forward Caroline Sullivan , and forward Katie Williamson — Wellesley (6-4) won three in a row.
The team lost one of its best fans, Elisa Parsons , great aunt of coach Kristin Cieri , who died of pneumonia Jan. 9 at age 90.
“We’re trying to play well to honor her memory,” Cieri said of her Aunt Lisa. “We’re just starting to click. It’s late. But better late than never.”
Foley reaches 800
Now in his 50th year as a head coach, Bob Foley notched his 800th win when St. John’s (Shrewsbury) beat visiting Holy Name, 80-37, on Tuesday night.
In an accomplished coaching career that started at Uxbridge and continued at St. Peter-Marian — he has two state titles and 16 Division 1 Central Mass. championships — he said he values the time he has spent with his players more than his win total.
“I’ve had a chance to coach over 1,100 games and so that seems to me to be the thing that means the most,” Foley said. “Wins are nice but I think it’s the games, it’s the kids.”
And Howes hits 200
When Maynard beat Ayer-Shirley last week, 70-59, coach Paul Howes registered his 200th career win, giving him a record of 200-123 in 16 seasons at the school.
Phil Perry can be reached at email@example.com.