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BVT Girls Hoops are a Tight Group

By Chris Villani
Sports Writer
It can be more challenging for Blackstone Valley Tech teams to gel than some of their opponents. The Beavers draw from 13 different towns, so they don’t always have the advantage of having known one another since elementary school. But the BVT girls’ basketball team has come together quickly, head coach Nathalie Christiansen said.
“Our strength has been our togetherness,” Christiansen said. “It’s hard to gel as a team when you draw from so many different towns, but this team has been together now for three or four years and the bulk of our team is upperclassmen. So we are starting to become a team that works really well together and it’s paying off for us.”
Valley Tech came into the year off a 17–5 campaign from a season ago that ended with a loss to Joseph Chase High School in the round of 32 in the state tournament. Top scorer Emma Ballard has graduated, but senior Kasey Reeves is primed to step into a larger role.
“She has always taken on a lot of responsibility for the team and for making sure they are on time to practice and always giving their best,” Christiansen said. 
Reeves is one of three captains on the roster this winter, joined by junior point guard Skyla Jack and senior forward Katelyn Steele. 
“They are known for being quiet but they have really stepped up to make sure everyone knows what is going on,” Christiansen said. “They keep us together and they are both playing well.”
All three captains are regular starters this year. Joining them in the rotation is sophomore Mara Keane, who also played significant minutes as a freshman. 
“She is playing some great basketball,” Christiansen said. “I put a lot on her plate last year as a freshman and she handled it, so I am going to put even more on her plate this year.”
Junior swing player Danika Kirby was the first player off the bench last season but has earned a starting role this year. A strong shooter, Christiansen said the Beavers will be looking to her for an offensive spark. 
In addition to winning 17 games a year ago, BVT earned a state vocational title. Christiansen said the goal is to get back to the states and repeat in the state voke. She also wants to see her team at the top of the Colonial Athletic League standings, where it has typically been in recent seasons.
“We just want to compete,” Christiansen said. “Our division is pretty competitive, but we would like to get past the round of 32 this year. If we can give our all every day and we walk out of the gym having given 100 percent, win or lose, that is the best we can do.”