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Globe North sports notebook

Wilmington grad on a hot streak

By John Vellante
Globe Correspondent / December 4, 2011
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Amy Fahey is averaging a sizzling 28.4 points per game for the women’s basketball team at Fitchburg State University, a breakout start for the sophomore forward from Wilmington.

And she is doing so without the 3-point shot as part of her arsenal.

The 5-foot-9 Fahey is scoring the old-fashioned way - two at a time.

The trey just isn’t in her comfort zone. Not only does she not score from beyond the arc, she very rarely shoots from there - not one attempt through the first five games this season, and just three shots in 24 games last season.

“Sooner or later, that will come. But for now, what’s she’s doing is fine by me,’’ said Fitchburg State coach Walter Paschal, in his 13th season at the helm.

“We don’t need her to take 3-pointers. We need her to continue doing what she’s doing, and that’s scoring from inside the key and on layups. She can finish a fast break better than anyone I’ve seen at this level. They feed her and she finishes.’’

Fahey scored 21 in the opener against Clark, then 20 at Curry, another 28 against Maine Maritime, followed by a school-record 39 in a 76-72 win over University of Massachusetts Boston, in which she was 15 of 22 from the floor and 9 of 11 at the free-throw line. Last Monday night, she hit for 34 in a 69-49 win at Nichols.

She is making 64.6 percent of her shots (51 of 79) from the field, and 85 percent (40 of 47) from the stripe.

“We keep telling the kids we don’t want to rely on just one player, but in the flow of our fast break, we’ve been getting her the ball and she’s been finishing,’’ said Paschal.

“She’s just been uncanny. I’ve never had a player with back-to-back 30-point-plus games. And, she’s done it all without a shot outside the key. Not one. How many could she score if she started working on her three?’’

Fahey does work on her three-point range - during practice - but for now she is very content with her game plan.

“Sure, I’d take a three if we needed one, but right now, we have other players that do that much better than I do,’’ said Fahey, who earned All-Cape Ann League honors her junior and senior seasons at Wilmington High.

“The team is moving the ball real well and getting the ball to me. They do all the work. I just finish. They give me a lot of scoring opportunities and the ball’s been dropping.’’

Fahey hasn’t just been contributing on offense. She’s been a force off the backboard as well, averaging 9.8 rebounds per game, with a high of 13 against Maine Maritime.

As a freshman, Fahey averaged 8.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. The difference, she said, has been her allegiance to a weight-lifting program, which she was coaxed into by teammates and roommates Brittany Chase of Foster, R.I., and Rebecca Goreham of Quincy.

“It’s definitely made me stronger and has given me greater endurance,’’ she said.

Paschal said, and Fahey agreed, that to be an all-around player, Fahey has to brush up on her defense.

“Once she does,’’ said Paschal, “she’ll be a complete player and be able to compete with anyone on this level.’’

Campus corner

A warm thought before winter sets in: The University of Massachusetts Lowell will open its baseball season Feb. 25 in Flemington, N.J., against the University of the Sciences. After a doubleheader against St. Thomas Aquinas and a four-game series against Mansfield University, with all seven games in Flemington, the River Hawks head to Florida, where they’ll play 10 games in eight days against Adelphi, Dowling, Florida Tech, Mercy, and Philadelphia. The home opener at LeLacheur Park is March 28 against Stonehill. . . . Nice touch by Merrimack before its hockey game against Alabama-Huntsville on Thanksgiving eve. The Warriors teamed up with the Thomas E. Smith Fight to Cure Paralysis Foundation and made a $15,000 donation to the Friends and Family of Chic Kelly Foundation. In 1988, Kelly tried out for the hockey team and earned a spot on the roster. During a routine shooting drill at Lawler Arena, he was tripped and crashed headfirst into the boards. The impact left him a quadriplegic. . . . Bentley lineman Nick Halloran of Somerville, Merrimack lineman Zach Gilbert of Salem, St. Anselm linebacker Shane O’Donnell of Dracut, and the Merrimack duo of Tony Johnson of Lynn and Shawn Loiseau of Shrewsbury were first-team picks to the All-Northeast-10 Conference team. Johnson was named defensive Lineman of the Year and Loiseau defensive Player of the Year.

Around and about

Alex Eaton, a two-sport standout at Westford Academy, will play lacrosse at Lehigh next year. A midfielder for the defending Dual County League Large champion lacrosse team, he also rushed for 1,700 yards and 19 TDs for the football squad this fall. . . . Lowell High senior Leah Moynihan has signed a letter of intent to swim at Providence College next year. A three-time Merrimack Valley Conference all-star, she was the MVC’s Division 2 Swimmer of the Year.

John Vellante can be reached at JohnPVel@aol.com.

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