Two years ago, the Whittier Tech girls basketball team won 20 games, including the Division 4 North title, and advanced to the Eastern Mass. finals where they played at the TD Banknorth Garden, the home of the Boston Celtics and Bruins.

Current Wildcats head coach Kevin Bradley shepherded the 2005-06 squad -- the most successful girls hoops team in Whittier Tech history -- but there is only one player from that team who remains a Wildcat today.

Yvonne Calvin was a sophomore on that 20-win team. Today, she is a senior captain of a young Wildcats team, which is looking to improve on last year's 8-12 record and earn a state tourney berth.

While Calvin was not the Wildcats' go-to player during the historic 2005-06 season, she certainly will be this season. The 5-foot-10 Calvin is the only starter back from last year, the Wildcats first losing season since 1996-1997, when she averaged 11.7 points per game and earned Commonwealth Athletic Conference All-Star honors.

"Yvonne Calvin is doing a great job with the younger kids and I couldn't ask for more. We'll have a lot of freshmen and sophomores playing," said Bradley, who enters this season, his 11th, with a 164-75 record.

Besides Calvin, junior Kendra Hobbs, a volleyball standout, and sophomore Tiffany Mannion are the only two players on the Wildcats roster who garnered varsity playing experience last year. Mannion will be out until midseason due to a dislocated elbow suffered in volleyball.

Bradley is hoping the girls basketball team follows the blueprint of the 2007 Whittier Tech football team, which was also a young and inexperienced squad coached by Bradley.

"The football team was the same way this year, and at the end of the season we were a ferocious team," said Bradley, whose squad plays at Greater Lawrence against the Reggies Friday, Dec. 14 at 5 p.m.

Over 40 athletes are participating in the Wildcats girls basketball program. Among the program's promising newcomers are Brittany Warner, Alex Duda, Samantha Dietrich, Shauna Fusco, Kristina Terry, Annemarie Perez, Michelle Dube, Alicia Rondeau, Jaime Severino, Julie Then, Angie Lopez, Nina Berube, Danielle Martin, Kaisha Rodriguez and Monica Lewis.

Bradley is looking for steady improvement from his young team as the season progresses, with team captain Yvonne Calvin showing the way.



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