'They're happy to be out there playing basketball again,' says Abby Kelley girls' coach Brian Morse

Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Abby Kelley's youth-laden girls' basketball team didn't play a single game last season due to the COVID 19 crisis. Accordingly, after a year without hoop, Bears coach Brian Morse feels comfortable taking the time-honored "one game at a time approach."

"The girls are very excited, and they're happy to be out there playing basketball again," Morse said. "Last year was wiped out, so we're just very happy to have an opportunity to play basketball. The girls are working hard. Right now, we're just trying to figure things out."

The Bears showed their potential during their season opener against Sizer, winning, 33-31. Junior Glenda Asare had a hot hand, pumping in 14 points. Sophomore Shanelle Brafi added 10 points. Abby Kelley followed this with a pair of losses, both by double digits.

"We lost two tough ones after our season opener," Morse said. "In the win over Sizer, we showed a lot of rust, which is to be expected — a lot of girls are just learning how to play basketball.

"The losses were difficult, especially the second one, which was huge (deficit-wise). But that one was also encouraging. It was the type of game that could have been demoralizing. But no one quit, no one held their heads. These girls want to learn, they want to get better, and you have to be happy with that."

Asare, one of only two team members (the other being senior Salome Guzeh) with previous varsity experience (dating to the 2019-2020 season) is joined in the starting lineup by Brafi, sophomore Destiny Boateng, sophomore Taleah Boothe and sophomore Ghenwa Elmaola. Key contributors off the bench include Guzeh and classmates Allison Danh and Kadidia Fall.

Enhancing the team's depth are seniors Brianna Ayite and Stephanie Boateng, sophomores Eleanor Owusu-Ansah and Eliana Owusu-Ansah, and freshman Neema Ndunga.

"We're super young and very inexperienced, so they'll be a lot of growing pains," Morse said. "But we'll keep practicing and working. They're all great kids and will do whatever I ask. I'm optimistic they'll be much better by the end of the season."

Morse is assisted by former Doherty hoop standout Emily Capstick, who also coaches Abby Kelley's JV team.

—Contact Craig Holt at

This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: 'They're happy to be out there playing basketball again,' says Abby Kelley girls' coach Brian Morse

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