This has been a challenging season for the young, inexperienced Englewood High School girls basketball team but coach Adrian Thomas said the addition of a veteran player Elijah Dougherty will strengthen the squad as the Pirates head into the second match with each of the league opponents.
The Pirates came into the season with several players who had played basketball at the varsity level. But the roster was thinned by injuries so, most of the season, only two varsity veterans, Mason Brainard and Kadie Kavinsky, have been on the court regularly and are have been the team leaders. Brainard is the team’s point guard and is the leading scorer, averaging 17.3 points a game. She also leads the team in assists with 12 and in steals wit 44. Teammate Kavinsky is leading the team in rebounds with 73, in steals with 49 and she has blocked 19 shots.
Englewood is at home Feb. 1 against Fort Morgan and Feb. 5 against Fort Lupton. Home games are double-headers with a JV game at 5:30 and a varsity game at 7. One ticket is good for both games.
“It has been hard season for us because this is first season of competitive basketball for many of our girls and they are learning to play the game as we go,” the coach said. “That is why I think the addition of Elijah to our lineup will be a plus for us. She knows how to play the game and I think she will create some open looks for us.”
The name is familiar because Daugherty played for the Pirates as a freshman and was the leading scorer. During the off season, her family moved and she was at Cherry Creek until recently when the family moved back to Englewood.
“I feel like I am back at home and I am happy about it,” she said. “I hope I bring my passion for sports will inspire other girls to play sports. I am also looking forward to doing what I can to help our basketball team the rest of this season.”
She said she likes basketball and she probably is at her best shooting the outside shot.
“I like to shoot the three-pointers but I don’t have a favorite spot,” she said. “I just square up anywhere I am open on the court and in range to try to hit the shot.”
The team has also benefitted from the Maddie Smith’s return to the lineup after she was sidelined by an injury.
“It has been a little rough having to sit and watch as I have missed almost half the season because of an injury,” she said. “I am healthy now and I am back trying to help our team.”
She said she tries to being a positive attitude to the court and she like playing down low at the post position.
“I like the post position where I can get down in close to the basket and battle for the ball,” she said. “I enjoy the physical play under the basket and, for me, I am best when I am shooting in close. I want to work hard, do my best to help my team by getting rebounds and maybe scoring four or six points a game.”