Spotlight shines on Marblehead High girls basketball captains

Joe McConnell | + posts

The Marblehead High School girls basketball team (7-6) defeated host Danvers on Feb. 3, 45-23. It was the Falcons’ Senior Night, but the visitors turned in their best game of the year as a team, according to coach Paul Moran.

Freshman Tess Andriano helped pace the offensive attack with 11 points. Senior Sara Bosio was next in line with 10. Junior Samantha Dormer was all over the court contributing to the team with seven points, four assists, two blocks and four rebounds. Senior captain Carlin McGowan chipped in with five. Junior Katie Pyne and freshman Mari O’Connell netted four points apiece. Senior captain Stella Monaco and junior Katie Burns ended up with two points each.

The Marblehead High School 2022-23 girls basketball team is, from left, top row, Liv Goldwater, Greta Sachs, Kate Burns, Clara Donovan, Katie Pyne, Tessa Andriano, Sammy Dormer, Mari O’Connell, Maddie Forbes and Carlin McGowan; front row, Sara Bosio, Samara Dosch, Stella Monaco, Ramona Gillett and Isabelle Ferrante. COURTESY PHOTO

The Magicians followed up the win over Danvers four days later with a great effort against Division 1 Peabody, a team that beat them by 40 the first time around. The Marblehead girls led by 10 after one quarter, 17-7, but the Tanners dominated the second quarter to lead at halftime, 31-26. They went on to win the game, 62-44.

With four games left on the regular season schedule and just two away from a postseason berth, McGowan, Ferrante and Monaco opened up on their experiences as MHS athletes in the Q&A below with the Marblehead Current.

Carlin McGowan

Carlin McGowan

How long have you been playing basketball? Did you play any other sports, and what did you like about basketball over the other sports?

I have been playing Marblehead basketball since the fifth grade. The youth basketball program had just started when I joined up, and with the help of great volunteers and coaches I had an amazing experience.

I also participated in youth lacrosse but did not continue playing it in high school. Additionally, I have played soccer for as long as I can remember and was captain of the MHS varsity team this past fall.

But compared to these other sports, basketball has a smaller team roster, which I enjoy. With a small team, there is a stronger bond created that allows for a close environment and tight friendships to form throughout all four years of high school.

What is it like to play for coach Paul Moran?

Playing for Paul (Moran) has been a blast. There is always something to laugh about, and every practice the girls get closer, this year especially. I have looked forward to practices, games and outside team events.

One of my favorite memories from this year was the Florida trip with the boys varsity team. It was so much fun, and it definitely helped our skills improve by facing talented opponents.

Do you play any other sports at the high school?

I played soccer all four years. It was an amazing experience, and being able to carry the leadership skills I learned from this past soccer season into basketball was definitely beneficial.

Have you decided on a college, and do you have a major in mind?

I haven’t yet decided on a college, but I am leaning toward large schools with lots of spirit for sports. I plan to potentially take a business route, but I’m currently undecided because my interests are very versatile. Additionally, I hope to participate in club soccer and other intramural sports in college. 

The McGowan Files

Full name: Carlin McGowan


Parents: Meg and Bob McGowan

Siblings and their ages: Grady (20); Madden (16)

Favorite TV show: “Gilmore Girls”

Favorite movie: “The Croods”

Favorite book: “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”

Favorite subject: Math

Favorite athlete: Alex Morgan (an American professional soccer player with the San Diego Wave FC of the National Women’s Soccer League, who also captained the U.S. women’s national soccer team with Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe from 2018 to 2020), because she is a motivated female athlete who inspires young girls. She also uses her platform for the greater good and advocates for equality.

Isabelle Ferrante

Isabelle Ferrante

How long have you been playing basketball? Did you play any other sports, and what did you like about basketball over the other sports?

I have been playing basketball since the fourth grade. I started in the town league and continued to play it every year. When I ended up going to a private middle school, I also played for the school team, along with the town team. Those two teams helped me get ready for Paul’s (Moran) team and be prepared for what was coming.

I also play field hockey and lacrosse, but what I like about basketball is how fast it is, and it is almost like Ping-Pong, where the score keeps going back and forth. It’s like a game of catch-up.

What is it like to play for Coach Moran?

Over the past four years, basketball has been so fun. Playing for Coach Moran is almost like taking a basketball class. Coach knows so much information about the sport, so when you ask him any question, he knows it off the top of his head.

My favorite memory is before we start every Sunday morning practice, Paul will ask us what we did on our Saturday night. I think this helps so much for team bonding, and it’s something I look forward to hearing every weekend.

Do you play any other sports at the high school?

I also played field hockey the past four years, and this spring it will be four years on the lacrosse field.

Have you decided on a college and a possible major?

I haven’t decided on a college yet. I have gotten accepted into a few colleges in their psychology programs.

The Ferrante Files

Full name: Isabelle Ferrante

Age: 18

Parents: Mark and Heidi Ferrante

Siblings and their ages: Emma Ferrante (20)

Favorite TV show: “Friends”

Favorite movie: “High School Musical 3”

Favorite book: “It Ends With Us”

Favorite subject: Science

Favorite athlete: David Ortiz, because he always shows so much love for the city of Boston.

Stella Monaco

Stella Monaco

How long have you been playing basketball? Did you play any other sports, and what did you like about basketball over the other sports?

I have been playing basketball since the second grade, and I started with the intramural leagues before moving up to the travel and middle school teams. I had a lot of familiarity with the sport, which helped me get ready for high school basketball.

Additionally, by playing basketball growing up, I was able to meet some of my closest friends. I also grew up playing soccer and lacrosse.

But I prefer basketball because I like the fact it has a smaller roster, so everyone is able to have strong bonds. I also enjoy the quickness and intensity that comes with the sport.

What is it like to play for coach Paul Moran?

It has been great playing in the program. I have enjoyed getting to know all of the players who have now graduated and those who are younger than I am. I also think the program is very lucky to have such great coaches on the JV2, JV and varsity levels. Paul Moran is a great guy who is very passionate and knowledgeable about the game. There is never a dull moment with him.

I would have to say my favorite team and individual memories would have to be during our Florida trip in December. We had never done something like this before, but it was very fun. I have never had a closer team than we do this year, and I think it is because we all truly respect each other and enjoy each other’s company.

Do you play any other sports at the high school?

I played soccer all four years and tennis for two.

Have you decided on a college, and a major?

I recently have been accepted to Boston College and will be heading there in the fall. My major is undecided, but I have future ambitions in business or law.

The Monaco Files

Full name: Stella Monaco

Age: 18

Parents: Courtney and John Monaco

Siblings and their ages: Crew Monaco (16)

Favorite TV show: “Stranger Things”

Favorite movie: “Pitch Perfect”

Favorite book: “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover

Favorite subject: Math

Favorite athlete: Alex Morgan, because I have always been inspired by her and will continue to look up to her well after my soccer career is over.

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