So appropriately enough on the day that Winter Sports practices officially begin, we begin our preview of the 2015-16 winter season by taking a look at the girls basketball team whose coach Glen Magpiong enters his second season at the helm and his 11th season overall in Wellesley basketball having coached in the boys program for 9 years prior to taking the head girls position last year. Coach Magpiong was kind enough to answer a few questions about the upcoming season which sees his Raiders coming off a 13-8 season a year ago, in which the Raiders were eliminated in the first round of the tournament falling to Brockton. That being said Magpiong sees a lot to build on heading into this season as his squad returns many key pieces from last year, “We have 8 returning who played on last years team, which is really exciting. Last year was the first time working on the girls side here at Wellesley and it took some getting used to for both them and me. To be honest, I think the transition was seamless and with the success we had
last year and with a very solid core group returning, I like our chances heading into the year.”
The Raiders will go with 5 captains this year in seniors Emma Ivey, Caroline Sullivan, Katie Williamson, and Emily Cronin, along with junior Dorian Cohen. Magpiong is very excited about all the leadership qualities all the captains bring to the table. “Katie and Emily really spearheaded the off-season work (Emma was soccer Captain and Dorian and Caroline traveled a bunch with their AAU teams) and coordinated activities with the younger players. I am really looking forward to working with each players’ unique leadership quality.” In terms of key returning players Magpiong didn’t want to point out specific players as tryouts are just beginning but did reiterate the core that this team has coming back which certainly brings with it a lot of optimism, We have 8 players who played on the varsity team last year, who will presumably be on the team this year. To be honest, I am excited about the prospects for each and every one of them. We also have some strong underclassman I am excited about.”
As always the Raiders will be playing a tough Bay State Conference schedule and Magpiong is certainly aware of what the conference is capable of heading into the season. “I truly believe this will be one of the strongest years for the BSC.Every team on the Herget side returns a bunch of their players. Walpole the defending champion and I think they have 11 returners. Natick has arguably the best player in the state. Norwood returns virtually their entire team after going 16-4. Milton and Dedham are always tough. Braintree is the defending State Champion and Newton North gets back a D1 commit. It will be a battle, night in and night out.” Lastly Magpiong touched on the exciting announcement that his team will be playing at TD Garden January 24th against their arch rivals the Needham Rockets. This will be Magpiong’s second time coaching in the Garden as back in 2014 his boys team knocked off St Johns Prep. “The girls seem to be excited about having the opportunity to be playing at the Garden against Needham. When we did it with the boys a couple of years ago, it was the highlight of the year for some of us. The fact that it is against Needham, probably does make it a bit more special. Now we just need to make sure we fill the Garden at 8:30 AM on January 24th.”
The Raiders open up their season Friday December 11th at Dedham and their home opener is the following Tuesday the 15th vs Needham.