, Salem, MA


December 20, 2013

Bounce Passes: New coaches hope to begin new traditions

As the 2013-14 season kicked into full gear this week, we are reminded of the many coaching changes that have taken place over the past nine months.

Three teams have welcomed new head coaches into their respective programs as Beverly, Marblehead and Pingree start the season under new management.

Allison Flynn was announced as the Panthers’ new head coach back in July after Matt Smith stepped down after 13 years at Beverly.

Flynn is 2001 graduate of Salem High, where she scored more than 1,400 career points for the Witches. Prior to coming to Beverly, she was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Saint Anselm’s women’s basketball team in Manchester, N.H. She also held the same role at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont for a year.

Beverly, which hasn’t made the playoffs since 2010, went a combined 16-44 over the last three years, but is looking to put that kind of numbers behind them and start with a clean slate. Flynn and the Panthers will open up the season tonight against her former high school team at home.

Marblehead’s Wayne Hanscom moved over from the boys’ team to start coaching the girls. He takes over for Skip Likins, who coached the Magicians for four seasons. Hanscom led the Marblehead boys for eight years and before that coached at neighboring Salem High for 17 years.

“I’m taller than a lot of the girls, which is great and I love it,” Hanscom joked about the difference between coaching the boys and girls teams. “The girls are real good listeners; they soak things in. When they make a mistake, they move onto the next play.”

He brings 25 years of experience to the position while his assistant, Dave Pliner, had two daughters of his own go through the Magicians’ program.

The season couldn’t have started any better for Marblehead, which won its first two games by significant margins. “The girls want to win,” Hanscom said. “They’re really buying into our system. We play 10-11 girls a game because we’re running and pressing the entire time. We have to work on everything.”

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