By the end of the 2021-22 season, no one wanted to play the Rumson-Fair Haven girls’ basketball team.
The Bulldogs began that season in uncharted territory, starting 2-7. Instead of allowing it to become a lost season, the Bulldogs rebounded, going 17-3 in their final 20 games to finish 19-10.
“We started the season slow,” Head Coach Dave Callahan explained. “The girls didn’t have a lot of [varsity] playing time, and there was no leadership role.”
Once the Bulldogs gained experience through those first games, everything began to click. They became a dangerous squad, throwing down three-pointers at warp speed.
With most of that team returning, no wonder Callahan is excited about 2022-23.
“I love this team,” said Callahan. “It’s super close knit. The kids root for each other.”
With so many returners, the momentum the team built up from the end of last season has carried over.
Last year, the Bulldogs led the state in three-point shots, connecting on 278, and top scorer Julia Corsentino hopes to continue that trend. The senior guard, headed to Marist, canned 77 treys to lead the Bulldogs and the state. She averaged 16.3 points per game. Corsentino also led the team in rebounds at five a game.
“She’s a special player,” noted Callahan.
Corsentino is far from the only marksmen on the team. Guards Sylvie Notine (So.), Ella Mason (So.) and Dylan Cahill (Sr.) knocked down their share of threes.
Transfer Raquel Guidetti brings another scorer to the backcourt, and she will play point guard.
The Bulldogs lacked leadership at the start of last season because of their limited experience and Julia Fallon, now a senior, filled that role. She, too, is a long-range shooter.
“Our guards are tremendous players,” Callahan remarked. “They are two-way scorers. They can shoot, and they can put the ball on the floor, and they are quick.”
In the frontcourt, Rumson’s forwards give the team a balanced inside-outside offensive attack.
Returners Abby Boyle (Jr.) and Anna Gredell (Jr.), along with freshman Erin Reid, can open the floor for Rumson’s shooters by making defense have to account for them. They have good size and can be physical.
What was important last year – and the big reason for the team’s turnaround, Callahan pointed out – is that the Bulldogs learned to trust each other, make the extra pass and share the ball. That teamwork made the Bulldogs long-range shooting much more effective.
Rumson takes advantage of its team quickness on the defensive end, pressing teams all over the floor. It forces teams to play up-tempo, which is to the Bulldog’s liking with their depth.
The Bulldogs should be one of the most exciting teams to watch this winter.