|Colette Josey drives to the hoop for Bentley wearing a souvenir of her knee problems. (Sportspix)|
Hurt, Josey plays tough for Bentley
Former Framingham High standout Colette Josey continues to provide the Bentley University women’s basketball team with inspirational leadership and deliver impressive numbers while playing through pain and adversity.
The 5-foot-11 senior forward, who has twice come back from recurring knee problems, tore the labrum in her right shoulder - her shooting side - early last month. But Josey is a major presence when she is on the court, leading the Northeast-10 Conference in blocked shots (averaging 2.4 per game), including a season-high seven in the Falcons’ 49-43 win over St. Michael’s on Saturday.
Josey, who missed most of her sophomore season and the first seven games of her junior season after knee surgery, also chipped in with 12 points (on 5-for-6 shooting), 13 rebounds, three assists and a steal as Bentley ended a three-game losing streak.
She’s averaging 8.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this season, leaving her second all-time at Bentley with 1.9 blocks per game, and fourth with 137 career blocks.
“Colette amazes us all,’’ said Bentley coach Barbara Stevens, whose team was 7-5 overall (5-2 NE-10) going into last night’s game at New Haven. “She’s started every game for us with her knees and shoulder wrapped, and is covered with ice afterwards in the locker room. She’s just a warrior, and unfortunately for her, and for us, we’ve never really had her at full strength.
“She asks to come out when she’s sore, but she’s averaging more minutes this year than last,’’ at 22 per game, Stevens said. “No one plays harder than Colette, who gives you everything she has. We wouldn’t be where we are now without her.’’
At Framingham High, Josey was a member of the Globe’s “Super Team,’’ a Bay State Conference Player of the Year, and three-time team MVP. She was named to the NE-10 All-Freshman team despite coming off a prior knee surgery.
Among Josey’s teammates at Bentley is junior forward Elise Caira, an Arlington Catholic graduate from Wakefield who missed all but three games last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and has been sidelined with a leg injury for the past three games. She was not expected to play last night and is questionable for Saturday’s home game against Southern Connecticut. Caira was averaging 15.4 points and a team-leading 9.4 rebounds per game.
Hartigan, who was tied for the team lead in goals and points (12), had nine career goals entering the season.
“Wil really has that shooting touch, and this year he’s a more confident and productive player, which goes hand in hand,’’ said coach Jim Tortorella, a Concord native now in his 15th season leading the Division 3 hockey program at Colby, in Waterville, Maine. “He’s good at getting his shots off quickly, and the goal he scored from the slot against Bowdoin was a perfect example. We play Wil in all situations and he’s gotten better in pursuing and possessing the puck.’’
Colby, which swept Bowdoin for the first time in 13 seasons, was 7-2 overall and riding a seven-game winning streak going into tomorrow’s home game against St. Michael’s.
Hartigan, who attended Arlington High and graduated from Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, was an Independent School League all-star in baseball for his senior season, but was recruited primarily as a hockey player by Colby.
After skipping baseball his freshman year at Colby, he realized he missed playing the sport. Back on the diamond as a sophomore, Hartigan posted a 2-2 record and 2.89 earned-run average as the team’s closer last spring, striking out 14 batters in 20.1 innings and earning top team rookie honors .
He also received the Mal Wilson Humanitarian Award last year for his commitment to the community, after volunteering at the Waterville Middle School in the “Colby Cares About Kids’’ program.
“I pick the recipient and I don’t give it out every year,’’ said Tortorella. “But I felt that Wil deserved it because he volunteered in the same selfless and quiet way as Mal once did,’’ citing the award’s late namesake, a former Colby hockey player and Waterville resident.
His brother, Aidan, is a sophomore at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols, where he plays hockey and baseball.
The team’s other cocaptain, senior guard Andrea Bailey of Needham, was named New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Player of the Week after earning MVP honors at Wheaton’s New Year’s Tournament. She averaged 13.0 points, 7.5 assists, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.5 steals.
Marvin Pave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.