SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports Special

December 11, 2012

Beverly girls basketball develops new style for 2012-13 campaign

It’s only natural that Beverly High girls basketball coach Matt Smith is looking forward to this coming season. After all, the Panthers have had a wildly successful fall sports season in virtually all sports, and Smith is hoping that some of those good vibes continue into the winter athletics.

“Hopefully, the success of the girls fall teams will spill over to basketball,” said Smith, now in his 13th year as the Panthers’ head coach.

“The girls saw what it was like to win and enjoyed winning, which hopefully carries over to the winter. I couldn’t be happier with the success of field hockey, volleyball, cross country and soccer — it’ll only help us.”

Slowly but surely, Smith is incorporating a new style of play for the Panthers, and he said that so far the team has really bought into it. It’s less about set plays and more about running a fast break offense, which will coincide with the overall speed on the team.

“The atmosphere at practice has been great so far. The girls have been energized, myself, as well,” Smith said.

“We have a good core or players who participated in every conditioning workout over the summer (the same one that the football team participated in) and went to all of the summer league games. This is a good sign.”

With a solid nucleus back, the Panthers have their second leading scorer from last season back in the fold in Andrea Zelano, who, along with Jill Stirrat and Abby Carnevale, is this year’s senior captain.

“We have a significant amount of juniors who have played in varsity games and know what that’s like, so we are experienced,” Smith said.

Believe it or not, Smith isn’t solely focused on winning itself; instead, he’s more about teaching the girls how to win. The Panthers have a combined 11-29 record the past two winters and haven’t qualified for the state tournament since 2010.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Student-Athlete 2014
Sports
Local News
  • 140765_SN_DLE_FESSENDEN4 Special Spaces transforms two downstairs rooms into playroom for Riley Fessenden

    BEVERLY -- What happens when the perfect kid-friendly playroom appears in your house overnight? Beverly's Fessenden kids were mostly speechless when they returned from seeing "The Little Mermaid" on Saturday and got their first look at the playroom t

    July 28, 2014 10 Photos

  • Beverly Hospital courier loses patients’ lab forms

    BEVERLY -- A courier for Beverly Hospital last month lost lab request forms for 54 patients that included names, health insurance identification numbers and, in some cases, Social Security numbers. The courier misplaced the forms, which were in a zip

    July 28, 2014

  • Big plans for three parks in the Point neighborhood SALEM -- One will be overhauled, another created from scratch, and a third will get a spiffed-up community garden. It's a good time to be a park in the Point neighborhood. The densely packed area just south of the city's downtown is on the verge of i

    July 28, 2014

  • Peabody could see school choice profit next year PEABODY -- After three years, the city's schools are projected not only to break even on school choice, but actually make a $30,000 profit. School officials expect to lose just under $300,000 in state aid next year for students who opt to attend scho

    July 28, 2014

  • 140723_SN_DLE_SALVARMY2 Dennis and Susan Knight take over Salem Salvation Army operation

    SALEM -- It was Christmas Eve in Sanford, Maine, but 8-year-old Dennis Knight and his three sisters had good reason to be short on holiday spirit: Their mom and dad had warned them there would be no Christmas that year. The family couldn't afford it.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos