SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The Memorial Middle School girls basketball team finished their season on Monday with a 5-4 overall record. The team is coached by Spotswood High School Physical Education teacher Heather Rounds. Rounds has been a teacher at the high school and the Colts' girls basketball coach for the last four years. Playing the season during the ongoing pandemic presented new challenges for the veteran coach and her players, including limited practice time.
"The girls would learn a new defense or offensive play in a short amount of time without much practice that they are used to having," Rounds said. "They succeeded every time with a smile and determination to work hard above and beyond what I could ask for."
The players on the 2020-21 Colts girls basketball team included sixth graders Bayley Bonfante, Caitlyn Devlin, Emily Devlin, Isabella Mele, and Juliana Ziegler, seventh graders Brianna Del Alversano, Hailey Krainski, and Josie Longo, and eighth graders Gabbi Barasch, Mikayla DaRocha, Gabbi Gioffre, Ashley Judah, Emily Judah, Lael Leaver, Danielle Salvensen, and Samantha Zeron. Salvensen and Zeron served as team captains for the Colts.
Even with shortened practices, mask wearing, social distancing, and parents not being able to watch in the gym, Rounds and her team were just happy to be able to get on the court for a season this winter.
"We were all so excited to be playing this year," Rouns said. "The joint effort from the school district, parents, and custodians, making sure everything was properly clean and ready for us was so greatly appreciated. It was very fulfilling to see the athletes laughing and having a great time socializing with each other. Everyone worked so hard for us to be able to have this season."
"The girls and I really valued playing/coaching this season," Rounds continued. "Thank you to everyone who made this happen."
The top offensive players for the season were Salvensen with 71 points and Krainski with 65 points. Caitlyn Devlin, Del Aversano, and DaRocha finished the season with 20 points. Salvensen, Krainski, Del Aversano, and DaRocha all were tapped as the top defensive players for their work on the court. All four players had more than 10 steals.
The shortened 2020-21 was the final one for Barasch, DaRocha, Gioffre, Ashley and Emily Judah, Leaver, Salvensen, and Zeron. All eight players will be graduating from Memorial in June.
"It was my pleasure to coach the girls this year," Rounds said. "They were so coachable and a lot of fun, which made my job really easy."