The Coginchaug girls basketball team finished off last season with a solid record of 14-9 with their toughest competitors being the Cromwell Panthers and the Morgan Huskies. The Panthers were able to top off a 28-0 season, winning the Shoreline and state tournament while the Huskies stood right behind them as second in Shorelines with a 22-5 record. The Devils still managed to stay at fourth place in the division.

The girls hope to flip things around this year with new talent ready to make a difference. A number of freshmen and sophomores on the team have begun stepping up in the absence of the team’s three senior captains last year: Larissa Cade, Alana Beckert and Amy Arcari. This year’s captains are juniors Virginia Benbow and Ashleigh Halligan. Halligan has come off of a season-ending injury last year that kept her from competing. Her return will hopefully spark the team to get off to a strong start this season. “I believe as a team we have the chance to go all the way because we have been playing with each other for so long; we know how to play well together,” Halligan added.

The big factor playing in the Devil’s’ favor is the change in lineup for the Panthers and Huskies. The Panthers lost their entire lineup of starting seniors while the Huskies lost a handful of skilled players along with their head coach of over 10 years. The Devils hope that this change will be beneficial towards their chances this year and help them be able to beat the two teams, Cromwell especially, who the Devils haven’t beaten since their 2012-13 season, where the Coginchaug girls also went on to win their first state championship. Although, they know it is not that simple: “Just because Cromwell and Morgan lost their seniors does not mean it will be easier to beat them,” Halligan said. “We have to work even harder and play our games, not theirs.”

The girls’ first two games of the season are both away games and could be beneficial in building momentum for their first home games. Their first game is Tuesday, Dec. 8 against Valley Regional (who the team split the series with last season), and their second is against East Lyme, a very competitive team who are in a very competitive league themselves.

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