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Girls basketball preview: Younger players will contribute

Weston High ssenior Taylor Swanson looks for an opening during a girls basketball scrimmage at New Canaan on Monday. The Trojans have a number of freshmen with youth basketball experience who can contribute on the varsity this season.—Rocco Paul Valluzzo photo

It appears that youth will play a part in how the Weston High girls varsity basketball team fares during the 2012-13 season.

Of the 14 girls the Trojans have in the program (which includes varsity and JV teams) half will be freshmen. A few will likely see varsity time.

Yet head coach Dan Rosen has good reason to be optimistic. Most of the this season’s freshmen he previously coached on Weston’s seventh grade travel team he started two years ago and they know what to expect.

“When I got the job I decided to build up a youth program,” said Rosen, now in his third season as head coach. “They fit right in with the drills.”

Practice only started last week but the Trojans have already made a lot of progress. A few scrimmages against some Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC)  teams will also help them prepare for their first game.

Although Weston will have a higher number of freshmen in its ranks it still brings back some varsity experience from last season’s team which finished at 8-13 overall. That group also qualified for the state Class M tournament for the fourth straight year.

In terms of numbers Weston lost only two players to graduation since last season. They were big losses nonetheless.

The Trojans will miss former captains Elllie Martin and Lianna Hursh. Martin was an All-SWC selection as a forward and also Weston’s leading scorer. Hursh played center and was named an All-SWC honorable mention.

Much of Weston’s varsity experience rests with senior captains Taylor Swanson, Morgan Moubayed, Anna Mahony and Zoe Zegers. An All-Patriot Division selection, Swanson will be at point guard. Moubayed will also be a guard and Mahony will give Weston a presence under the net at center. Zegers saw some varsity time last season and will play a bigger role this year.

“We’re expecting her to do a lot,” said Rosen. “She’s working hard at it.”

From the sophomore class is forward Kristen Paola, who played in every varsity game last season. New to the varsity are classmates Ana Flooks and Danielle DeCanio.

Among the freshmen who could see varsity time are Claire Levi, Caitlin Campbell, Taylor Kennedy, Zoe Tower, Charli Rosenbloom and Bridget Mahony.

“Whoever earns it will be getting varsity minutes,” said Rosen.

Once again the Trojans hope to qualify for the state tournament. Another goal is to improve their non-league as well as SWC records in the process.

The Trojans will emphasize rebounding this season in particular and have been working on boxing out. Rosen also hopes the team will not rely on jump shots and hopes to go to the free throw line more often.

“I think we’ll be a good defensive team,” he said. “I have smart girls. We can change of the fly. We’re going to steal some wins that way.”

Weston opens the season on Dec. 8 when they host Notre Dame of Fairfield.

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