Deep Ford looking for bounce-back season
When the disappointing 2010-11 season came to a close, Bishop Ford coach Mike Toro identified some of the problems that plagued the Falcons.
Those negatives are now Bishop Ford’s biggest positives.
“I think our strength is our depth, our size, we’re a better shooting team than we were last year, a better rebounding team and a better defensive team than we were last year,” Toro said.
And the Falcons are anxious to prove they’re a better team than last year.
“I think we’re just as talented as any other team, I think we’re one of the biggest teams,” Toro said. “I think our only issue is can we be consistent and bring it day in and day out?”
The Falcons have done that in preseason practices and scrimmages.
“We should be real good this season,” sophomore Aaliyah Jones said. “We just have to keep our confidence up.”
Jones, a versatile 5-foot-7 guard who has already drawn interest from St. John’s, Boston College, Hofstra and Fordham, is one of the top newcomers this season, joining sharpshooter Jill Conroy up from the junior varsity.
Back for the Falcons are UTEP-bound Shanice Vaughan and junior sensation Aaliyah Lewis, who has offers from St. John’s, Hofstra and Rutgers ad interest from Boston College, Iona, Virginia and Notre Dame.
“She’s going to play more of a role vocally and on the floor as well. Lately in scrimmages, she showed she’s that second coach on the floor,” Toro said of Lewis. “She can possibly end up being one of the leading scorers on the team.”
Its clear Bishop Ford is stacked at the guard position.
“We have the guards, but right now we’re just working on our bigs now,” Lewis said. “Everyone knows we can score the ball with our guards. Right now we have bigs stepping up.”
Up front there’s a trio of Brittanys – Brittany Martin, who was hampered by injury last year, Brittany Lewis, who Toro calls a “double-double machine,” and Brittany Henry, a transfer from FDA who can score on putbacks, block shots and rebound.
“Our big [players] are working extra hard this year, grabbing everything off the boards and putting it back in,” Vaughan said. “All our big [players] have improved.”
Toro said this year he’s comfortable putting any of his 12 players on the court at any time.
“We’re quick with our guards and we’re big with our forwards,” he said.
And if the Falcons can be more consistent through a rigorous league and non-league schedule, Toro believes he has the pieces to make a significant postseason run.
“It’s such a tough league that if you don’t come ready to play each game, you could lose,” Toro said. “I think we’re one of the deepest and biggest teams in the league, but we just have to find a way to put it together.”
And if Bishop Ford shocks a few people along the way? Even better, says Jones.
“We want to be the underdogs and let everyone talk,” Jones said. “We’re just coming to play hard.”
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