MHS girls hoop team keeps positive outlook

By: Rich Fisher
   It was another day and another loss for the Monroe High girls basketball team.
   This one was even tougher, as the Falcons had just fallen to a Lawrence team that entered last Saturday’s game with the same 1-8 record as Monroe had.
   The final score was 54-45, as Lawrence wiped out a 38-32 fourth-quarter deficit by scoring nine straight points and never surrendering the lead.
   A tough loss?
   A depressing season?
   "It’s still fun," Ashley Armstrong said. "It will always be fun."
   "There’s definitely a difference between this year and last year," Lisa Cosentino said. "This year, we have new coaches, they pump us up more. Our new coach (Leigh Vogtman) is great.
   "We think we have a better chance this year, we run more plays, we practice harder, we come out harder in games. We come out with the thought that we’re going to win. Last year, we were like ‘OK, we lost, we’re going to lose again.’ This year, we don’t think that way."
   And last year, the Falcons had the school’s all-time leading girls scorer in Ali Baumlin. Still, they went winless.
   This year, Vogtman’s youth and energy seem to be rubbing off on the Falcons, despite their record.
   "Our coach has made a huge difference," said Armstrong, a tri-captain along with Cosentino and Amy Krainski. "She has the ability to keep us upbeat when we’re down, tell us when we’re doing something wrong and and telling us we are a team and we all have different abilities."
   The problem has been getting those abilities to all mesh together. Krainski, Carly Keane and Mai’Lee Paselio are out there banging, Cosentino works to get off her shot, which is the prettiest on the team, Marissa Allamby runs around with abandon and Sarah Gibbons goes after every rebound possible. Even Sasha Potter, a soccer star by trade, provides big-time vocal support when she’s not in the game.
   "We practice hard, we come out hard," Cosentino said. "Some things just don’t fall through, they just don’t go our way. But we play hard until the end.
   "As captains, we’re always talking to everyone in practice, trying to keep them up. Everybody’s still into it."