, 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
Local News
  • Salem extends principal search SALEM -- Superintendent Stephen Russell has extended the search for three new principals, arguably the most important personnel decisions he will make in his three years as head of the public schools. Russell is about to hire principals to guide turn

    April 24, 2014

  • 140423_SN_KYU_CROSSWALK A safer place to cross

    PEABODY -- A little more than a year after tragedy struck, the new pedestrian traffic signal in front of St. Adelaide's Parish is installed and operational. "My dad worked his whole life in the service of his community, church and country, and it giv

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • MBTA proposes commuter-rail fee increase SALEM -- The train to Boston is about to get more expensive. Across-the-board fare increases recently proposed by the MBTA would raise the price of single trips on the commuter rail by 25 to 50 cents and the cost of monthly passes from between $10 fo

    April 24, 2014

  • Unrepentant serial drunken driver gets 31/2 to 5 years PEABODY -- Despite what a judge and prosecutor called an attempt to "hijack" the proceedings in his case, a serial drunken driver from Peabody was sentenced to state prison yesterday. Right up to the end, Peter Hurley, 53, was adamant that he'd done

    April 24, 2014

  • pipes1 Sewerage repair delay sparks worry MARBLEHEAD -- Serious concerns are building over delays in the repair of a sewer pipe connecting Marblehead to the South Essex Sewerage District in Salem. The need for replacing the two pipes became apparent in March 2013, when one began to leak int

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos