The Franklin Pierce women’s basketball team was in a tough spot. The Ravens were 1-5, and they were losing guard Mya Mosley, a captain and the only player beyond her sophomore year on the roster, via transfer.

The team needed a leader — which, for sophomore guard Sophie Holmes, meant an opportunity.

“After she had left, someone needed to step up in scoring and helping the team,” Holmes said. “I kind of took that upon myself to lead the team.”

Franklin Pierce’s Sophie Holmes looks for a shot during a game earlier this season. Submitted photo by Matthew Cerullo

Two years after guiding Messalonskee to a Class A state championship, Holmes was back in the spotlight on the court. The Oakland native led the Division II Ravens in scoring and in playing time, averaging 12.9 points while also getting 28.8 minutes per contest and starting 22 of 26 games.

“It’s just such a crazy opportunity, because most sophomores in the NE-10 (conference) don’t even get to play,” she said. “But I’m here two years in and playing the majority of the minutes in the game, every game. And I just think I took that opportunity and kind of ran with it as much as I could and tried to do the best I could for the coach and the team.”

Holmes played sparingly as a freshman and was off to a slow start to the year, starting only one of the first five games. But when Mosley left at the end of November, coach Jeanette McKillop had a talk with Holmes about seizing the moment.

She did pull me aside and say that I needed to step into the leadership role,” Holmes said. “Mya did score the majority of our points and took a majority of our shots, so coach told me basically that someone else needed to step into that role and it should be me.”

Two games later Holmes scored 10 points against Merrimack, and she reached double figures in 16 of the remaining 18 contests. She scored 21 points against Post on Jan. 2, then had a career-high 24 against Saint Rose on Jan. 19.

Again, McKillop pulled Holmes aside, but with a different message in mind.

Coach … just said everything in that game had clicked for me, and there was no reason why I can’t produce those numbers every game and play like that, with that high intensity,” she said. “To hear her confidence in me and reassuring me, that was probably the turning point for me personally this season.”

Holmes set a career high with 26 points on Feb. 13 against Merrimack. The only downside to the year was the record — the Ravens, made up entirely of freshmen and sophomores, went 4-22 — but Holmes is looking forward to helping her team take another step forward with everyone back next year.

I think the sky’s the limit for us moving forward, and our coach believes in us and sets us up for success,” she said. “I’m super excited for the future.”

• • •

Like Holmes, Lauren Chadwick got her shot in her sophomore season.

And like Holmes, the Gardiner native took advantage of it.

After starting only one of the first 15 games for the Western New England University women’s basketball team, Chadwick was in the lineup for each of the last 14, leading the Golden Bears to the Commonwealth Coast Conference championship.

Chadwick averaged 4.9 points per game, but began to play a bigger role after being moved into the starting lineup for good against Trinity on Jan. 16. WNE lost that game but won its next seven and 11 of its next 12, the last victory being a 69-55 victory over Endicott for the conference title. Chadwick scored 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting and hit two 3-pointers in the victory.

WNE earned a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament with the victory. The Golden Bears lost their opener to Tufts, 70-44.

• • •

Anne Guadalupi won state and conference swimming titles in her final season at Cony. It didn’t take her long to find that same success in college.

Now a sophomore at Assumption, Guadalupi helped lead the Greyhounds to the NE-10 championship after a runner-up finish in 2018, notching three top-six finishes in individual events.

“That was definitely the goal. Every year we start off with this long-term goal in mind,” she said. “It was definitely a long time coming because we worked really hard. … We came back with a vengeance and with a lot of motivation and support. Just to have the trophy at our school means our work that we put into it really paid off.”

Guadalupi played a large role in the victory, earning a third-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke, a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard IM and a sixth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke. She was also on four relay teams, leading the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams to victory and the 800 free and 400 medley relay teams to second-place finishes.

Guadalupi has been a key contributor for two years for the Division II Greyhounds, and said that swimming at that level requires a lot of dedication.

“If you commit to something like this, you first of all have to love the sport,” she said. “We train almost 20 hours a week, and my breaks are cut short because I’m spending almost more time with my team than my family. But it all comes down to loving what you do, and I love what I’m doing. I love swimming, and because of that I’m able to bring a posititive outlook to my team.

• • •

A pair of local track and field athletes took regional honors at the New England Division III championships, held Feb. 22 and 23 at MIT.

Messalonskee’s Zach Hoyle, a distance runner for the University of Southern Maine, won the 800-meter run at 1:51.65, beating the Coast Guard’s Josiah Davis by .14 seconds.

Madison’s Ron Helderman took home a New England title as well in the pole vault, taking first place with a vault of 16-1.75. His mark was 6 inches clear of runner-up Liam Ackerman from MIT and Andrew McCracken of Wesleyan.

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.