McFaul and South
Marshall's Rachel McFaul handles the ball and Rachael South the post against Annandale Thursday night.

Much-improved Marshall matches win total from last year

If Marshall’s girls basketball roster looks pretty similar to last year’s, that’s because it is. Freshman forward Rachael South and sophomore guard Peyton Emory are the only new faces on this year’s varsity. The other girls were on Marshall’s five-win team from year ago. Now they’re on another five-win team–the difference being there’s still 15 games to go for them in the regular season this year.

The Lady Statesmen will win many more than five this year.
The Lady Statesmen will win many more than five this year.

After a 55-20 victory over Annandale on the road Thursday night, the Lady Statesmen moved to 5-1 on the young season. It’s pretty clear that Marshall’s players have improved across the board as they enter their second year under coach Mike Trivisonno.

“The girls are playing hard,” Trivisonno said after the game. “They’re tired of losing. We’re just trying to get a little bit better every game and see what happens.”

On Thursday his players were not tested much by an Annandale team that was missing core pieces Jayla Irvin and Katie Garrish (14.0 ppg). The loss of the 6’1″ Garrish, out with a foot injury, was particularly problematic for the Atoms (2-4) because of Marshall’s height across the board–especially blossoming star junior center Clara Ford. Ford scored 14 of the Lady Statesmen’s 16 first quarter points en route to a 25-point, seven rebound evening. She’s a big reason Marshall has high hopes this year, and she was virtually unstoppable on Thursday.

Annandale's Grace Hatch prepares to check Marshall center Clara Ford.
Annandale’s Grace Hatch prepares to check Marshall center Clara Ford.

“Clara is night and day from last year,” Trivisonno said. “She went to Evolution last year to hone her skills and played in a great AAU program for Liz Reed. She just worked really hard and it’s now showing on the court.”

While an imposing post presence like Ford stands out, the Lady Statesmen are also a deep team that often gets contributions across the board. They’ve played nine players every game this year and have played 10 in some games. Trivisonno’s team might even go deeper than that once junior guard Charlotte Donnellan and senior guard Liz Geiger return from injury.

Against the Atoms the ball movement was crisp. Eight Marshall players scored and the ones that didn’t–Leah Walters (four rebounds, three assists) and Kylie Hardin (six rebounds)–still were major contributors. The young and talented freshman South was impressive off the bench, pitching in with six points, five boards and two assists.

While the future seems bright for Marshall, it is unclear if the Lady Statesmen are ready to evolve into a true contender this year. Trivisonno thinks his team can at least reach another level. “I think we need to take care of the ball a little better,” he said. “We’re defending, we’re rebounding pretty well, we’re running our stuff–if we can take care of the ball I think we can reach another level.”

What a difference a year makes.

–Chris Jollay

box score is unofficial

WALTERS 0-4 0-0 0 4 3
GRILL 3-6 0-0 7 1 1
TILLMAN 2-5 0-0 4 1 5
HARDIN 0-2 0-0 0 6 0
FORD 9-14 7-7 25 7 0
Barrand 3-6 1-3 7 3 0
Emory 1-3 0-0 2 1 0
South 3-6 0-0 6 5 2
McFaul 1-3 0-1 2 3 4
Piche 1-2 0-0 2 3 0
TOTALS 23-51 8-11 55 34 15
Threes: Grill 1-1, Walters 0-2, Hardin 0-2, Barrand 0-2, Tillman 0-1, Emory 0-1
SHAMDEEN 1-11 2-3 4 2 1
REAMS 2-11 0-2 4 4 0
LUU 1-6 0-0 3 3 0
SCHWARTZ 1-4 2-2 4 2 0
HATCH 0-2 1-2 1 4 0
Elkhebri 0-1 0-0 0 0 0
Corcoran 0-1 0-0 0 1 0
Yungner 2-5 0-0 4 3 0
TOTALS 7-41 5-9 20 19 1
Threes: Luu 1-2, Reams 0-7, Shamdeen 0-4, Schwartz 0-2, Corcoran 0-1, Yungner 0-1, Hatch 0-1