Girls Basketball: Ten Players to Watch in 2020-2021

Franklin junior Olivia Quinn is one of the players to watch when the girls basketball season tips off. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Player are listed alphabetically

Kiara Cerruti, Junior – Canton

One of the most dynamic offensive players in the league, Cerruti has jumped right into the lineup at Canton, as part of much-hyped class of 2022, and demonstrated an array of consistently produced for a program brimming with potential. Cerruti led the Bulldogs last season at just under 15 points per game. She also chipped in with five rebounds and nearly two assists and two steals per night. Her size and skills make her an awkward matchup for opposing defenses. She can step away from the basket and has become a consistent shooter from beyond the arc but can also take smaller players into the post or crash the boards for easy baskets. If a defender is too aggressive closing out at the three-point line, Cerruti can beat them off the dribble and get to the rim with a creative array of finishes. Cerruti looks to be in good position to be just the second player in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone with more than 600 points through her first two seasons. She is also an improving defender, with her length and smarts putting her in the right position to close off passing lanes. Canton has been a program on the rise for the past few seasons, with young talent at every position, and now the Bulldogs hope to couple that talent with experience and make a run at a first league title since 1992.

Caroline Flynn, Senior – Oliver Ames

Although not a natural point guard, Flynn slid into the position for OA and became one of the league’s top playmakers as the Tigers gave Franklin a challenge for the Kelley-Rex division title. Flynn’s size and versatility allowed her to be one of the best rebounding guards in the Hock, while consistently finding a way to get into the lane. She has the strength to bully smaller guards and the ball-handling ability to get past bigger forwards, making her a tough matchup on both ends of the floor. Flynn scored 12 points per game last season and dished out four assists per game, while guarding multiple positions. Her vision and unselfishness were critical to the Tigers getting out on the break and transitioning from defense into instant offense. An improved shooter and talented finisher in traffic, Flynn causes a lot of problems for opposing defenders, but her passing ability in the half court makes it difficult to send help. OA will be aiming for a Davenport title this season and Flynn’s continued growth as a point guard is a big reason why.

Emma Glaser, Senior – King Philip

King Philip head coach Dan Nagle wants his team to embrace the chaos of a high-pressure, non-stop attacking style and Glaser appears to be the perfect fit for that type of attack. A versatile, athletic combo guard, the Springfield College-commit has the right mix of skills to potentially have a big senior season and help the Warriors put in a title challenge. Glaser’s speed and aggressiveness make her a factor on both ends of the floor, whether chasing down a ball-handler or racing out on the break for an easy basket. She is also a strong finisher at the rim and doesn’t shy away from contact. Glaser can also stretch the floor as a capable three-point shooter. When the outside shot is falling, Glaser is very tough to handle because defenders don’t know whether to close down and give up a potential drive or back off and let her have the perimeter shot. It’s a confusion that Nagle wants his team to thrive on and Glaser forces defenders to make those quick decisions that create openings in the halfcourt. With a year of experience in the system, Glaser seems poised for a breakout season and has the Warriors thinking about ending a nearly two-decade wait for a league title.

Meghan Gordon, Junior – Attleboro

Last winter, Attleboro secured it first playoff appearance in four years, winning its regular season finale to book a spot in the state tournament. While Nyah Thomas’ scoring was a big reason for the Bombardiers being in position to extend their season, Gordon developed over the course of the season into a critical player for Attleboro. The junior forward averaged eight points per game last year but that total increased over the course of the season, as she grew in confidence and expanded her repertoire on that end of the court. By the end of the year, Gordon was a double-double machine, as evidenced by her 16-point, 18-rebound performance in the finale against North Attleboro. A lanky forward, Gordon was a force on the block. She found ways to score at the rim and was tenacious crashing the boards. With her long arms and athleticism, she found ways to score at the rim even in traffic and to protect the rim at the other end of the floor. Gordon also showed off a nice touch out to 10 feet, punishing defenders that dropped off to try and keep her out of the lane. After her breakout season, Gordon will be drawing plenty of attention from opponents and Attleboro will be counting on her continuing to grow into one of the league’s top post threats.

Amanda Kaiser, Senior – North Attleboro

North Attleboro was just one win shy of making a return to the playoffs last season and Kaiser was a main reason why. The senior guard led the Rocketeers with nearly 13 points per game, but also was a major factor on the other end of the court. Kaiser averaged two steals a game and her long arms and quick feet enabled her to cause havoc on the perimeter, which North took advantage of to get out on the break as often as possible. One of the league’s top deep threats, Kaiser has unlimited range and showed right from her first moments on varsity that she’s not afraid of taking big shots. She has also developed into an effective off-the-dribble player, getting into the lane and attacking the rim or finishing in transition. Opposing teams plan to try and take Kaiser out of games and she continues to build her skills to adapt to that. Kaiser fits into the get out and run mentality that head coach Nikki Correia has brought to North and her growth on both ends of the floor will be needed to keep Big Red in the hunt for a Davenport title.

Katelyn Mollica, Senior – Foxboro

Mollica has already cemented her place as one of the top players in program history with the rare feat of being a starter on two state championship-winning teams and she has steadily climbed the all-time scoring list, reaching the 1,000-point mark as a junior. Last season, Mollica led the Warriors to a third straight league title, finishing second in the Hock at just under 19 points per game. Arguably the league’s best pure shooter, Mollica buried 92 threes and shot over 90 percent at the line, while also being Foxboro’s primary ball-handler and the focal point of opposing defenses. As she has turned into a star for the Warriors, Mollica has faced numerous defenses all set up to stop her, but she continues to consistently put up big numbers. With unlimited range, the ability to knock down shots off the dribble with a quick release, and the speed to get a step on her defenders, it’s hard to prevent her from getting off a shot every trip down. As with most great shooters, Mollica isn’t going to let a few misses deter her and will continue to fire away. She also continues to develop as an on-the-ball defender with quick hands to force steals. There may be a lot of new faces for the Warriors this season, but with Mollica leading the attack the expectations remain high.

Caroline Peper, Junior – Oliver Ames

For the past two seasons, Peper has been one of the top three-point threats in the league, knocking down shots from well beyond the arc and at big moments. She forces defenses out of the lane and gives Oliver Ames room to attack the paint. As one of the taller guards in the Hock, Peper can also take players into the post and has had success attacking the basket in transition or in the halfcourt. She is a tough defender, with her long arms making it tough to pass around her, and she can crash the boards. Last season, Peper battled a back injury and still average more than 12 points per game while shooting 39 percent from three and 81 percent at the line. The backcourt combination of Peper and Caroline Flynn gives OA a unique look. Although neither are pure point guards, both are strong on the ball, can look over the defense, and can attack in multiple ways. Peper’s range and ability to knock down shots spotting up or off the dribble have made her a standout since her freshman year. With OA back in the Davenport division for the first time in four years, the Tigers will be hoping that Peper continues to expand on her game and help them reclaim the league title.

Erin Quaile, Senior – Franklin

It isn’t often that a player can change a game without scoring, but Quaile was a critical piece in Franklin’s perfect season while only rarely looking for her own shot. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year controlled the action on both ends of the floor for the Panthers. She regularly locked down the opposition’s best perimeter player and also ran the offense, getting Franklin into its sets, handling pressure with composure, and limiting turnovers. It is on the defensive side of the ball that Quaile has made her mark. She is tenacious, using her quickness to stay in front of the player she is guarding and willing to take the contact to draw a charge. Last season, Quaile had 45 steals, 54 deflections, and 55 defensive rebounds. Although not the tallest guard in the league, Quaile had the strength to matchup with bigger players and never lost the aggression regardless of the type of player she was guarding. This season, Quaile will be counted on to look for her own shot a little more but it will be her ability to run the show on both ends of the floor that puts Franklin in position to retain its Kelley-Rex title.

Olivia Quinn, Junior – Franklin

Franklin put together a historic season in 2019-20, going undefeated and bringing home the program’s first state championship. Having Ali Brigham in the middle certainly didn’t hurt, but it was Quinn’s emergence as one of the league’s top players that took the Panthers to another (unbeatable) level. Quinn was second on the team at 15 points per game, shooting 56 percent from the field and 36 percent from three. The 5-foot-11 forward used her size to shoot over the top of smaller players and her quickness off the dribble to blow past defenders that closed out on the three-point line. She showed off a range of offensive skills, from scoring in the paint to running off screens and knocking down jumpers. Quinn also developed an eye for a pass, driving into the lane and kicking out to open shooters or hitting cutters at the basket, and developed into a solid defender who used her length and quickness to guard multiple positions. She stepped up in the clutch for the Panthers, having some of her biggest games against title challengers King Philip and Oliver Ames and scoring 16 points in both the D1 Central final and state semifinal. As the Franklin offense adapts without Brigham in the middle, Quinn will get the chance to use her wide range of skills to try and earn another title for the Panthers.

Kayla Vine, Senior – Mansfield

There will be a new look to Mansfield this season with former player and assistant Heather McPherson taking over for longtime coach Mike Redding, but there are a number of players returning to give the lineup a familiar feel. Although the Hornets missed out on a playoff spot last year, they showed flashes of potential, including a late season win over Bishop Feehan. Vine is one of the players that is back, and the senior guard was instrumental in running the Mansfield offense last winter. Vine scored a team-high 12 points per game and showed that she had more in her locker than just a threat on the perimeter by getting to the rim and being able to finish in traffic. She remains one of Mansfield’s most consistent outside threats but has also become one its best playmakers. When Vine gets into the lane, she can get her own shot or pick out the open teammate, which helps creates scoring opportunities for a team that boasts a strong front line. Vine was also a disruptor playing at the top of the zone last season, getting into passing lanes and using her quick hands to force turnovers. After a solid debut season on varsity, the Hornets will be hoping Vine can help them make a leap this season and challenge for the Kelley-Rex title.

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