A new season and a new coach have been a perfect elixir for the Swampscott girls basketball program.
Despite the frigid temperatures outside, the Big Blue are heating up on the court under first-year head coach Abrom Roberts.
Roberts is feeling pretty good about the start the Big Blue are off to. In fact, he’s even seen significant growth from the first game, a loss against Winthrop, to Wednesday’s win over a comparable Gloucester team.
Since that three-point loss to Winthrop, Swampscott has put together a string of four victories — including two against a young Danvers squad — and won the Malden Christmas Tournament championship after defeating Wakefield, then Danvers in the final round last Friday night.
“I really like the way we played in the tournament,” said Roberts. “The defense played well and I was also impressed with our offense, especially in the Wakefield game. We put up 47 points, which was our highest scoring game so far.”
Roberts is no stranger to the team; he coached the junior varsity last season before taking over the varsity from long-time coach Jack Hughes, who stepped down in June.
The transition has been a smooth one for Roberts and the team, who’s really stressing the importance of defense. “The past four wins have been because of it,” explained Roberts. “It’s all about defense.”
Of course, one of the main focal points of the Big Blue offense is senior captain Ara Talkov. The power forward is averaging 15.8 points per game and dropped in a 21-point performance in the tournament’s opening round.
Most teams are doing what they can do shut Talkov down and the Big Blue are fully aware of their opponents’ game plan.
“Everyone knows that Ara is the superstar on the team,” said Roberts. “But everyone also knows their role on this team. Opponents are going to do the best they can at keeping the ball out of Ara’s hands, and we as team have responded to that.”