Maddie Erskine is one piece of a strong senior core that will help lead the Marblehead girls basketball team this season. (Item File Photo)

Strong senior class will lead Marblehead girl basketball

MARBLEHEAD -- Marblehead girls basketball coach Paul Moran has been around basketball long enough to know that goals always change year-to-year and team-to-team. This year, the goal was simply to just get the team on the court safely. And so far, things have gone smoothly for the Magicians.

"Everyone and everything has been outstanding up to this point," Moran said. "We've had our challenges, but all the local athletic directors are going above and beyond at making this possible including ours (Greg Ceglarski) checking us all in and checking temperatures."

Things have also gone well on the court, and players have been up to the task of adjusting to the new season.

"The girls have been really good," Moran, who was named Northeastern Conference Coach of the Year last season, said. "The way I look at this year, it’s all about focusing on skills and drills. There's no real record, standings and no tournament to play toward. I’m still putting plays in and everything and we're still working like we normally would, there's just no scrimmaging before the season."

There may not be a tournament at the end of the year, but the Magicians are still set to have plenty of success on the court. Marblehead is coming off a 17-4 season and returning some key seniors to the mix including Emily Clough, Maddie Erskine, Fehr Gillet and Leila Walton.

Clough earned NEC All-Conference honors and was named to the All-Item team last year after averaging a double-double with 15.2 points and 12.6 rebounds, while Erskine and Walton were both named Item All-Stars. All four seniors bring with them plenty of experience on the court.

"Our seniors are off to a great start," Moran said. "They bring great leadership and produce at practice. I honestly couldn’t be happier to just have them back on the court. 

"I know Maddie has a full scholarship to play lacrosse at the University of Vermont but didn’t even get to play last spring," Moran said. "Now we’ve been waiting and seeing with basketball. All these girls are just happy to be out there."

The group will also have plenty to play for against a strong NEC that is also adding a more than capable opponent in Masconomet this season.

"We have a really good group, which is good in this conference," Moran said. "I know Masco will be dominant, they have great girls programs. It could be overwhelming at first but we welcome it. It's a fantastic school to be able to compete against."

Marblehead is scheduled to host Masconomet in its season opener Tuesday (6), a matchup Moran is hopeful for, like any in a revolving season.

"My own personal thinking is as adults we owe it to the kids to give them a chance and to put them in a safe environment," Moran said. "I'm at high risk being a Type 1 diabetic myself, so if you may have to cancel games or take some time off, that's fine. We're wishing for it to go well but it’s really hard. I wish everyone luck and hopefully it will be a great season."

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