ROTTERDAM — The league she plays in is different now and so is the jersey number on her back. Bre Lott has altered her game, too, in an effort to make Mohonasen the best basketball team it can be.
"She is more mature," Mohonasen coach Doug Holden said. "It's a typical thing from your sophomore to junior year. She has evolved as far as her ability to handle game situations rather than just playing."
The 5-foot-10 junior is passing the ball a little more and shooting a little less against defenses that are designed to stop her.
Lott began drawing significant attention last season when she came in as Mohonasen's lone returning starter, and that increased even more after a mid-January game when she scored a school-record 38 points.
"The first couple of games I started to draw a lot of attention," Lott said of her sophomore season. "I knew to expect the same thing. I worked a lot in the offseason getting ready for it. I worked a lot on ball-handling. I knew I would be in the post more, so I worked on post moves, and knowing what the next pass would be."
Making the extra pass helped Colonial Council newcomer Mohonasen beat Rotterdam rival Schalmont 50-47. Lott scored nine points but passed plenty that Dec. 7 evening while being defended in a box-and-one, while her teammates picked up the slack. Freshman Shiya Hunter led Mohonasen with 11 points and senior Kateri Vumbaco scored 10.
"In the summer, they [Schalmont] beat us bad, and I forced things a little bit," Lott said. "When we played them again, I told the girls, 'If I pass up a shot, get ready for a kick.' We started knocking down shots and won the game. That was the best feeling. If I took a lot of shots it would have thrown everything off."
Lott had piled up 32 points the week before when Mohonasen beat Lansingburgh 62-46.
"It's about reading situations," said the 16-year-old Lott, who also plays for the AAU Albany Lady Stars. "I feel I'm more confident in knowing what is a good shot."
Lott has confidence in her teammates, too.
"Everyone on this team can score," Lott said. "It's a young group, but a good group."
"She is embracing her teammates abilities," Holden said. "She feels less like she has to put up every shot. She's not forcing it. Her average has come down a bit (it is currrently 17.6 ppg.), but what she is doing on the floor is more impactful."
Lott is wearing No 11 this season after going with No. 35 in her first two varsity seasons.
"I played all summer with it [No. 11]," said Lott. "We got new [school] jerseys this year and after I thought about it for a long time, I decided to make the change. New year, new league, why not a new number? I like it."
Lott is among a cast of non-senior girls' basketball players in Section II who are making a big difference for their teams. Here is a look at a few more of them.
The 5-foot-10 sophomore guard from Guilderland is a dual threat as a playmaker and manufacturer of points from inside and outside. She scored 29 points and had a tie-breaking layup with 40 seconds left when Guilderland beat Bethlehem 53-49 in its season opener and presented new coach Chuck Mack with his first Dutchmen win.
Hoosick Falls' 6-foot-2 junior center already has a 30-point game to her credit, in a 60-53 win over Class AA Schenectady, and recorded a triple-double with 17 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in a 67-13 win over Berlin. The Wasaren League first-team all-star has an offer from the University at Albany on the table.
Amsterdam's leading scorer and rebounder is also a defensive force in the Rams' fullcourt press, and had over 100 steals during her breakout freshman season when she made the all-state honorable mention list. The 5-foot-9 sophomore guard has produced double-digit points in all but one game for the unbeaten Rams with a high of 27.
The 5-foot-9 junior guard from Berne-Knox-Westerlo tied a school record with seven 3s and finished with 28 points in a 57-37 win against OESJ. Meacham also had five 3s and 21 points in a 56-44 win over Schoharie. The reigning Western Athletic Conference Mohawk Division MVP joins with 5-11 freshman forward Alexis Wright to give the Bulldogs a potent scoring combination and size at the defensive end.
The four-year varsity player from Greenwich opened her sophomore campaign with games of 34 and 38 points and has had others with 30 and 28. The 5-foot-9 guard has inside and outside scoring ability, showing five 3s in her 38-point outing against Schoharie.
Averill Park's do-it-all 5-foot-10 junior forward has helped the Warriors win three Section II Class A titles, and last season she earned all-state fourth-team honors for her effort. Wood has scored in double figures in every game but one this season, collecting 22 points and 19 rebounds in a 63-52 loss to Albany.
Just two games into her freshman season and the Duanesburg guard had earned an MVP trophy after leading the Eagles to two wins at the Schenevus Tournament. Meyer scored a season-high 29 points afterward against Middleburgh, starting her bid to repeat as a WAC first-team all-star.