2017-12-22 / Sports Spotlight

Couture knows recipe for playoff success

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer

Scarborough girls’ basketball coach Mike Giordano said the basketball IQ and skills of junior captain Josie Couture give him the flexibility to move her around the court as needed. (Michael Kelley photos) Scarborough girls’ basketball coach Mike Giordano said the basketball IQ and skills of junior captain Josie Couture give him the flexibility to move her around the court as needed. (Michael Kelley photos) The girls’ basketball team at Scarborough High School knows after putting up a 15-3 regular season record last season, Scarborough’s squad will be one of the teams to beat this winter, but head coach Mike Giordano said his players ready for another competitive basketball season.

“I told the girls we aren’t going to sneak up on anybody this year. Teams will be ready for us,” Giordano said at practice Dec. 13, the day before a 46-33 win against Falmouth and two days before a 45-34 loss to Bonny Eagle. “We were a little better than I thought we’d be last season. Now the expectation is we have a team that can play for a championship and they are ready to rise to that challenge.”

This week proves to be a challenging one for the team (2-2), with a 40-32 loss Tuesday against South Portland, a favorite to win the Class AA title this season and the team that knocked Scarborough out of the playoffs the past two seasons. Gorham awaits Friday as the Red Storm take on a team that is coming off back-to-back state titles. Gorham hasn’t lost since 2014.

If Scarborough wants to ensure another deep run into the playoffs, Giordano will be looking for another strong season of play from junior Josie Couture.

“She’s been through the battles. You look at her as one of those kids who has that experience in the big games. She is not afraid of taking a big shot and she is certainly not afraid of defending anyone in this league,” said Giordano, who has been coaching the team since 2013.

Couture was chosen as a co-captain this season, along with senior Sophie Glidden.

“I let the girls chose their captains. I want them to be able to look up to the captain and more than the majority of the kids felt she was capable and it was her time,” Giordano said of Couture. ‘’She is a leader by example. She is a leader in the classroom. This is her third year starting at the varsity level. Three years in the program and three years starting.”

Glidden, who will be playing at Stonehill College next season, said Couture is a good motivator and leader.

“She has all the things you would want in a captain,” said Glidden, who has served as captain the past two years.

Giordano said the caliber of Couture’s play and her basketball IQ gives him the option to move her around the court to where she may be needed. As a freshman she served as the team’s point guard, but made the transition last season to also play the center position. She is also typically used to guard the opponent’s best post player.

“She can play any position for us. She has the experience,” Glidden said.

Couture, 16, who has been playing basketball since she was in kindergarten, first through Scarborough Community Services and while at Scarborough Middle School as a member of the Maine Firecrackers traveling basketball team, said her favorite part of basketball is defense.

Couture said the girls basketball program struggled last year with numbers with only two players on the junior varsity team, which meant a lot of players had to swing down from the varsity team. Despite this, the varsity team was able to make it to the semifinal round of the playoffs, the furthest the team has been since 2013 when it lost in that round to Maine Girls Academy (then McAuley High School).

“That was a really good experience for us, especially because a lot of us were young,” Couture said of last season.

With the numbers back up, Couture is looking forward to another season of high school basketball.

“We are all really excited for this year. We have a deep bench and a lot of really strong players, so even when our top scorers aren’t having a good game, there’s always someone else who can fill in.”

Staff Writer Michael Kelley can be reached at news@scarboroughleader.com.

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