Young players ‘step into big roles’ with Old Colony girls basketball

Jan 2, 2024

ROCHESTER — The Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School’s girls varsity basketball team lost 40-31 to Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School on Dec. 28 — but for coach Craig Lincoln, the game was “a life lesson.”

The 13-member girls varsity basketball team is undergoing a “total rebuild,” he explained. Only three of the team’s 13 players have any previous high school court experience.

“We’re playing a lot of young kids,” said Lincoln. “We’re having freshmen step up into big roles … the youth is providing us with a lot and we’re expecting them to do a lot at a young age.”

He explained that training a team of new players offers challenges that wouldn’t exist if the team had more on-court experience.

“If you don’t have a lot of game experience you have in-game growing pains,” said Lincoln. “That’s where some of our deficit is coming from right now, but they’re learning how to play together.”

But with inexperience comes a chance to build players up into a solid, cohesive team without the baggage of previous mistakes or bad habits.

“They’re learning what I think is the correct way to play basketball,” said Lincoln.

According to Lincoln, the young team is learning “how we do things here on the high school level: teaching them our methods, how we do defense, offense [and] the speed of the game.”

“They’re learning a lot but we’re also throwing a lot at them,” he said. “There is a big learning curve right now, and we’re hoping that they can slowly bridge that curve so we can have a good future in the second half of the season.”

During Thursday’s game, the team showed improvement from the first to second half, Lincoln said.

“The intensity of the second half was a lot better than the first half … I loved watching the intensity that they played with,” he said. “If they can play like that for the rest of the season, I think we can be successful.”

And 15 freshmen in the Old Colony girls basketball program is “good for the future,” Lincoln said.