The competition and environment have changed but Colby College sophomore Carylanne Wolfington is essentially the same player today as she was during her career at Hall-Dale High School.
Too quick for bigger players and too strong for guards to defend, Wolfington continues to be a matchup nightmare for the Mules’ opponents. She leads the team in scoring at 14.3 points a game and is essentially tied for the rebounding lead at 5.9 per contest despite standing 5-feet, 7-inches tall.
“I’d say she plays about 5-10 or 5-11,” Colby coach Julie Veilleux said. “It’s really just mostly strength and competitiveness.”
Throw in desire, too.
“She just competes, competes and doesn’t stop,” Veilleux said.
Wolfington plays the same power forward role she did a year ago for the Mules. She’s invaluable in Colby’s perimeter-oriented offense, hitting 35 percent from behind the 3-point arc. When teams extend on her, Wolfington takes the ball to the basket, and occasionally finds herself in a post-up position in the Mules motion offense.
“I try to do a little of everything,” Wolfington said. “If I’m hitting, people will guard me closer and I can drive.”
Wolfington often defends players four or five inches taller than she is, and usually tries to front them with weak-side help.
“It’s tough when they can turn around and put the ball in the basket above you,” she said.
When it comes to rebounding, though, Wolfington holds her own with anyone on the floor. Veilleux said Wolfington has the technical skill to box out, but that’s not the key to her effective rebounding.
“I’ve always thought the best rebounders were the ones with the most desire,” she said.
Wolfington said she spent a lot of time during the summer lifting weights and working at Colby’s basketball camp. She also played twice a week in a league in Portland and paid particular attention to improving her endurance, so she’d be ready to play all-out defense late in the game.
“Defense is our mantra this year,” she said.
Wolfington is also a starter on the softball team where she led the Mules in runs scored and stolen bases last season. She excelled at both sports at Hall-Dale along with soccer.
“A lot of people at Colby play two sports,” she said. “A couple play three. It’s very similar to high school. You just have to have good time management.”
Wolfington holds a double major in psychology and government and especially enjoys the academic experience she’s had at the Waterville school. She’s less the 25 miles from home, too, which allows her friends and relatives to see many of her games.
The Mules returned to action Tuesday, three and a half weeks after their last game, a loss to Bowdoin. They’re just 3-6 but believe they’ll turn things around in the second half of the season.
“We lost those three tight games,” Wolfington said. “We felt good going into the break. We feel like hard work is going to pay off for us.”