Young Crusaders focused on constant improvement

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VAN BUREN, Me (WAGM) - The Van Buren girls team snapped a long losing skid dating back to 2015 last season. The Crusaders are still looking ahead to better days and trying to make the most of what they have now.

"Believe it or not we are still a relatively young team. We try to tell the girls it's a journey and that we are playing for the future. Not that we want to concede this season, but our best basketball is ahead of us," said head coach Matt Rossignol.

The Crusaders only lost one senior from last years squad and only have one on the team this year.

"Our lone senior is Emma LaJoie. She has led by example and by word of mouth. She is kind of like our spiritual leader and is our top rebounder and has improved her scoring quite a bit this year. She'll play inside for us even though she's an undersized big. Our other two strengths are out front in Leah Gendreau and Tiffany Morrow. They're our two leading scorers most nights," Rossignol said.

Van Buren feels it is still getting better and the team is hoping with a few wins they'll be in the mix for a playoff spot.

"This year has definitely been an improvement for us as a team. We have definitely grown stronger and I think winning those two games early on in the season has really boosted our confidence and has made us stronger as a team and really helped us out a lot," senior Emma LaJoie said.

"I feel like this year there is a lot more communication when we're playing. It makes it easier the game as a whole. We have a lot of players who like to try new things, which is great because it opens a lot of new doors for everyone," added sophomore Sierra Soucy.

Rossignol is happy with how the team is playing right now and says that the team has shown some great heart.

"I'm pretty proud of the girls who are sometimes on the short end of some bad scores, remain upbeat everyday and try hard to learn and improve. That's all you can ask for as far as coaching goes. I'm pretty pleased in that regard," Rossignol said.