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Senior captain Sara Wohlgemuth scored 22 points to lead the Hand girls’ basketball team to a 60-35 victory against Amity on Jan. 10. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)
Junior Hadley Houghton and the Tigers improved to 6-2 by earning wins versus Lyman Hall and Amity in two recent matchups. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)
Brooke Salutari is having a nice sophomore season for the Hand girls’ basketball team this winter. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)
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The Hand girls’ basketball team has rattled off six wins in its first eight games to begin the 2019-’20 season. As always, there are high expectations for the Tigers, who enter their 11th year with Head Coach Tim Tredwell. Last winter, Hand advanced all the way to the championship game of the Class L State Tournament as the No. 19 seed, finishing with an overall mark of 14-13.
“We began this season on a high note, pretty much where we left off last year,” Treadwell said. “We went into the State Tournament with a regular-season record of 9-11. Some people were saying, ‘Well, they’re good, but they’re the No. 19 seed.’”
After scoring her 1,000th career point last year, point guard Sara Wohlgemuth is leading the Tigers as a senior captain this season. Wohlgemuth threw down 22 points when Hand notched a 60-35 home win versus Amity for its fourth-straight victory on Jan. 10. Three days earlier, the Tigers hosted Lyman Hall and prevailed by the final score of 72-35.
Hand is seeing its success without senior captain forward Summer Adams, who has been sidelined with an injury. Adams and Wohlgemuth are the only two seniors on a squad that includes three juniors, two sophomores, and a pair of freshmen.
“We’ve got depth, and we’ve got people who can score,” said Tredwell. “Of course, we’re led by Sara. She’s the engine that drives this team. I’ve never coached a more competitive kid. If you pull her out of a game for 30 seconds, she’s over in the corner twitching, ready to go back in.”
Wohlgemuth is averaging 18.5 points per game for the Tigers thus far this year. Sophomore forward Brooke Salutari is scoring at a clip of 12 points per game.
“Brooke’s one of those country-strong kids. She’s 15 years old and is only [eight] games into her sophomore year, but her maturity is pretty much unmatched for her age,” Coach Tredwell said. “She plays soccer and softball and is an athlete. That sums her up.”
Tredwell can also go to junior guards Hadley Houghton and Julia Kuhn, along with junior center Maddie Thomas when he’s looking for contributions on the court.
“Hadley is our best field-goal shooter on the team [at 56 percent from the field]. We just have to get her to shoot more,” Tredwell said. “Maddie is 5-foot-10 and is still growing. She’s a shot blocker and a rebounder. She’s a vertical kid. Julia’s a guard and a ballhawk. We usually put her on the opponent’s best player.”
Sophomore guard Sophia Coppola has been worked into the Tigers’ rotation. Coppola scored 12 points in last week’s win against Lyman Hall.
“Sophia’s another 5-10 kid who has length and athletic skills,” Tredwell said. “Her confidence is building with every game.”
After splitting its first four games of the season, Hand posted a 51-25 victory versus Thomaston on Dec. 28 and a 48-26 win over Guilford on Jan. 3. With a little momentum in their pocket, the Tigers kept the good times with their convincing victories in last week’s action. Hand has plenty of strong opponents coming up on its slate these next few weeks.
“We played a very tough early schedule. I’ve always liked it that way. But now we’re going to get into the deep part of our SCC schedule,” said Tredwell. “There’s never an easy night in our conference. It sets up a great challenge and one that our players look forward to.”
Coach Tredwell likes the fact that Hand has a roster full of skilled and versatile players. He also likes seeing the Tigers bring their competitive edge to court on a day-in, day-out basis.
“What really makes our team and the school in general so good in girls’ athletics is we have so many talented, multi-sport kids,” Treadwell said. “We just jump in right after their fall sport and play. And they play hard.”
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