By Dominic Rapposelli
Business and Distribution Manager
Shoremen basketball traveled to St. Mary’s College (Md.) to take on the Seahawks in the opening contest of their 2023-24 campaign on Wednesday, Nov. 8. The contest was the team’s first under new head coach Corey Begly.
The Seahawks took a 45-33 lead into the halftime break before extending the lead to 52-41 in the middle of the second half. The Shoremen were able to tie the game at 65 in large part to a 10 point run by senior Kedrick Frink to bring the game close and lead to the tie. The Shoremen put up 11 points in the overtime period as they sealed the come-from-behind effort.
Under the new leadership of Begly, and new assistant coach Chris King, the team has shown their ability to work well together early in the season.
“The team has meshed very well together. The transition to the new coaching staff and the addition of first-years and transfers have been smooth,” Junior Precieux Tshibangu said.
Tshibangu, who added four points to the total, also picked up a pair of blocks and a quartet of rebounds in the victory. Another key contributor for the Shoremen was junior Paul Rodolf. In a full 40 minutes of action, Rodolf was second on the team in scoring during the game, adding 20 points on his own. Frink led the team in scoring by putting up 21 points.
“The season is a long journey. The win against St. Mary’s is just the first step on the journey. We’ll have ups and downs, but we’ll continue to show up and fight. We can’t wait to see everyone in Cain for our home opener on Tuesday,” Tishibangu said.
The Shorewomen opened their season in similar fashion to the men with a win against Notre Dame (Md.) on Nov. 11 at home in Penny J. Fall Gymnasium. The Shorewomen never trailed in their 30 point victory as they routed the visiting Gators 83-53.
The effort was spearheaded by career performances from junior Kary Kelliher and sophomore Emma Robinson. The tandem accounted for 34 of the Shorewomen’s 83 total points.
Kelliher notched career highs with 19 points and seven steals, which led the team in both categories.
Robinson added career numbers of her own with 15 points and eight rebounds, leading the team in the latter. She also added the play of the game with a behind the back layup early in the final quarter as she took home Shorewomen of the week.
“The energy and effort were great and our performance will definitely give us more confidence moving forward,” Robinson said.
With a 1-0 start, the Shorewomen look to continue their trend of making the Centennial Conference postseason as they have for the last two seasons.
“Our plan is to continue training hard and stay focused on reaching the championship game. It’s important to remember that while it’s easy to start off strong, this season is long, and we need to avoid burnout,” senior Serena Pluta said.
Pluta, the highest scoring player returning from last season, took in five rebounds and added 10 points in the opening day victory.
“I agree that we do have a smaller roster compared to recent years, but we have still been able to train efficiently. Our game plan and training hasn’t changed much; we have adjusted to the adversity we’ve faced,” Pluta said.
The new-look Shorewomen team will embark on a three game road stint starting at Immaculata on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 1 p.m.
“We have to come out stronger since we won’t have our home fans behind us. We have to go into these schools and play our game and hopefully pick up a few more wins on the road,” Robinson said.