Consistency is a quality which is highly-prized in the world of athletics. And Pinkerton Academy girls’ varsity basketball teams have been all kinds of consistent for decades now.
No matter what kind of talent they are dealt, the last several Pinkerton girls’ varsity hoop coaches – John Barry and Lani Buskey – have always been able to get the vast majority of their squads to the Division I final four year after year.
Getting her Lady Astros that far yet again at the end of the 2016-17 campaign last winter helped to earn present coach Buskey – herself a former Pinkerton cager – Division I Coach of the Year honors. And even one brief look at a Pinkerton girls’ hoop practice session shows that the Lady Astros run like a well-oiled machine.
Stepping into the 2017-18 campaign, the title-hungry Lady Astros – who are always in the hunt for a championship but haven’t won one since back in 2006 – have an excellent starting five and hopes that depth will develop through the growth of its bench players.
The 2016-17 PA contingent was badly hurt by the late-season injury of talented court-general Amanda Lemire. But the skilled senior is back and all kinds of prepared to run the Pinkerton Academy show again this winter.
Other key returnees from that 16-2 squad – which got as far as the Division I tourney semifinals before falling to the extremely tough Bedford High Lady Bulldogs – include senior Cydney Lessard and juniors Brooke Kane, Madison Mahoney, and Alicia D’Onofrio.
Other battle-tested varsity returnees include junior Isabella Brouilet and sophomores Jesse Ames and Brooke Cusick.
The contingent’s crew of promising newcomers includes juniors Megan King and Mackenzie Dolan, sophomores Sofia Riccio and Alyssa DiMauro, and freshman Alison Ingalls.
“We will have a very talented starting five with strong varsity experience under their belt,” said coach Buskey. “The key will be getting those five to utilize all those individual weapons to create speed, movement, and team basketball, while figuring out who can produce and contribute from the bench. If we can accomplish that, we will be able to compete at a very high level this season. As always, our focus will be a team concept with an aggressive and stifling defensive presence.”
The Lady Astros step into a 2017-18 campaign officially on the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 12 at home against the Exeter High Lady Blue Hawks, knowing that the Bishop Guertin Cardinals from Nashua have won two consecutive D-I titles and that both Bedford’s Lady Bulldogs and Londonderry return as strong entities once again.