---- — Windham senior guard Kelsey Schiebel recently set the Windham girls basketball program record for points in a game (30) and 3-pointers (8).
After averaging 7.8 ppg last year, Schiebel is averaging 13.7 ppg this winter.
She credits working with AAU coach Kevin Barboza and several college players this past summer for her improved offense.
“A lot of girls who play in college now go and work out with (Barboza),” Schiebel said. “(He worked out) between five or 10 of us at a time. I was usually the only high school girl there, and I just played against all these D-2 and D-3 college girls. Working with them — they are at a higher level than me — it’s really beneficial. At first, I wasn’t really confident. I was like, ‘Well, these girls are going to kick my butt.’”
But as the summer progressed Schiebel learned she could play and compete with her older opponents.
“I felt so much more confident coming into my winter season that I really could hold my own against anyone at that point because some of them (at the workouts) were 22 and I was only 17 at the time,” Schiebel said. “Even when you’re playing just one-on-one against a D-2 college girl, that has so much more of an effect on you. ... I’m playing with girls in high school now, and I feel I can do a lot more with what (Barboza) taught me.”
Barboza had Schiebel focus on improving all her skills, including developing a faster and more accurate shot.
“And I did tons of conditioning,” she said.
Schiebel plans to play in college. Suffolk, Endicott, Roger Williams and Keene State all have offered her a spot on their teams.
About her 30-point game, Schiebel said: “I knew right away that my shot was going to be on because I hit like three in a row in the first quarter. So I was definitely really confident.”
Congrats for Andover’s Devon Caveney who reached 1,000 points for her career in the Golden Warriors 45-42 win over North Andover on Thursday.
It just shows how vital Caveney, a senior, has been to the program’s success since the 2009-10 season during which time Andover has won three state championships.
The Andover boys team attended Caveney’s 1,000-point game. Members of the team were holding up 1-0-0-0 point signs.
It’s common for the girls team to attend boys games as well.
“For the past five years I’d say the boys and girls teams have been pretty close,” Andover coach Jim Tildsley said. “This year’s team seems even closer to the boys. We’re back-to-back in practices so they’re always talking to one another and the thing is they really like each other and support one another.”
Tildsley said he and boys coach David Fazio also are very close.
“The kids see that,” Tildsley added. “We hang around with each other before and after our practices and we both support each other at the games and they see it.”
North Andover’s Abbie Karalis, the daughter of former North Andover star Sharon (Zagorski) Karalis (class of ‘78), is off to a fine start and had impressive game vs. Andover on Thursday, scoring 10 points, including two 3-pointers.
“She’s been getting better all season,” North Andover coach Sue Breen said. “She got in the other day (Tuesday) more because Morgan (Lumb) went down (with a sprained ankle). She kind of fits into that spot. She plays with a lot of poise although she’s a freshman.”
Hoopes looking strong
Haverhill certainly has struggled this year, but Molly Hoopes has played well, including posting an 11-point, 18-rebound effort in a loss to Methuen last Tuesday.
“Molly’s just consistent every single game,” Haverhill coach Bob Melillo said. “She’s really a tremendous rebounder. She blocks shots real well. And she’s a great help-side defender. She’s always there to help everybody else on defense. I think she’s one of the more underrated kids in the area because game-in and game-out, that’s the way she plays.”
Emily Cranston is another Hillie who is playing well. She netted eight points, including sinking two 3-pointers in a loss to Lawrence on Friday.
“She’s a senior, and it’s her time to step up and she did a nice job for us (Friday),” Melillo said.
Central plays at rival Andover on Friday at 7 p.m.
Central won the first meeting 54-35 over Andover in the Greater Lawrence girls Christmas Tournament semifinals.
North Andover plays at Methuen on Friday at 7 p.m. This another Greater Lawrence Christmas Tournament rematch. North Andover won the first match by 20 points, but this time it will be without star player Morgan Lumb (sprained ankle).
Player of week
Pentucket senior center Tess Nogueira had a fine week, leading the Sachems to three wins and netting 21 points in a victory over Manchester Essex on Friday.
Nogueira and the Sachems are off to a 13-0 start.