Seniors try to lead Sabers back to the top of D-II

Mike Heaney expected that when he switched from coaching Souhegan High School boys basketball to the girls, there would be some kind of transition phase.

He had no idea it would turn out like it has.

“I thought I’d be making a transition, but I’m learning there’s none at all,” Heaney said. “It’s the same game. The smaller ball is really the only difference about it. It’s clicked a lot faster than I thought it would.”

Heaney believes the introduction phase was helped along by his new team, a mostly senior group that saw the Sabers win back-to-back Division II championships when they were freshmen and sophomores. A year ago, those players took their lumps, finishing 7-11 and losing in the first round of the tourney.

“We have so many seniors its been pretty seamless,” Heaney said. “They know what it takes to be successful and play quality basketball at the varsity level. Last year was their first year being under the bright lights and I think now they can rely on both experiences.”

The Sabers return four starters from last year’s team – senior guards Devon Hickey and Morgan Brady and senior forwards Cammie Formby-Lavertu and Mickenzie Larivee. The later of two were key contributors to the second of those two championship games. Souhegan has five other seniors on the roster.

“The thing that’s impressed me about them is that they’re really hungry,” Heaney said. “It’s a chance to make it their team and leave their legacy.”

As for the rest of the division, Heaney is going in almost blind. He knows a little bit about some teams, like Milford and Hollis Brookline, but overall, he’s been more concerned with his own group.

“It’s helped me, not thinking about everybody else,” he said. “It’s just about these girls and getting them ready to play.”