Head coach: Tom Gilligan (third season). Assistant coaches: Kevin O’Leary, Mike Gilligan (volunteer).
Last year: Chariho finished 16-9 overall, 13-5 in Division II. The Chargers lost in the state tournament to eventual champion Moses Brown.
Returning to varsity:
Seniors: Shelby Bawden (G, captain), Megan Hill (G, captain), Annaliese Kenney (G, captain), Caitlin O’Leary (G, captain). Juniors: Ally Buckley (F), Montanna Carrier (G), Layne Hart (G), Kate Powers (F). Sophomores: Casey Mastin (G), Shelby Roode (F), Spencer Shiels (G), Cassie Simpson (F), Lucie Willett (G).
New to varsity:
Freshmen: Britney LaBelle (G).
Outlook: Chariho has experienced inside and outside players as it looks for another strong season in Division II.
Powers averaged 16.9 points and 12.6 rebounds per game last season, and will once again be a force inside. She also can run the floor.
Shiels emerged as a quick guard last year for the Chargers and finished with 42 3-pointers. Both Powers and Shiels will once again play prominent roles this year.
“They both work really hard, are very athletic and very motivated,” Gilligan said. “They continue to push themselves. They will have to up their game this season because people will really go after them.”
Gilligan is expecting a big year from Kenney and O’Leary. Hart will contribute as will LaBelle, the younger sister of Dylan LaBelle, a standout performer on the boys team. She has good vision and can handle the ball.
Kenney and Powers have both been slowed by foot injuries, and Gilligan is uncertain when they will start playing.
Rebounding may be a concern. Gilligan added that the emergence of others coming off the bench will be a big key to the team’s success.
Coach’s take: “Our goal is to compete for a division championship and make the state tournament.”