Sunday January 20, 2013

To say that the 2012-13 basketball season has been eventful for Aliah Curry of Windsor would be an understatement.

The season started for the Norwich University sophomore with a trip to Europe under the auspices of USA Athletics International, Inc. Now, she is the leading scorer for the Cadets.

"It was something I might never get the chance to do again, going to Italy," she said. "The coaches opened the door for me and gave me new experiences on life, not just basketball. I saw different competition.

"The team I was on, all the girls I played with were going to be seniors coming into this year. There was only one other girl that was a Division III player."

Curry hit two free throws with 7 seconds left in regulation to give Norwich (8-9) a 58-56 win over Lasell on Wednesday.

"I was really excited for this year. When we were playing pickup [basketball], I thought our freshmen were going to step into roles that we needed. They might need this year to adjust and then next year we can really see what happens," she said.

Curry, who has been the Great Northeast Conference women's player of the week, leads the Cadets with a 20.8 point scoring average.

The Cadets have righted the ship a little. After losing 7 of 8 games through early January, Norwich has won three of its last four. Three times, Curry scored in double figures in those wins.


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She has a career-high 30 points to her credit in a 68-51 win over St. Joseph's (Vt.) on Nov. 30, and has scored 29 points three different times.

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One of Curry's former Wahconah teammates, Sarah Whitestone, is a regular for Nichols (4-10).

In her most recent outing, the sophomore from Dalton scored a basket and had three rebounds off the bench in Nichols' 76-61 loss at Salve Regina.

For the season, Whitestone is averaging 6.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 26.4 minutes per game. She has played in all 14 of Nichols' games, starting in six.

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It has been a successful season, to date at Springfield College, and men's basketball coach Charlie Brock credits a pair of Berkshire County players with helping make it a success.

Senior guard Jordan Rote of Sheffield and junior forward Robbie Burke of Cheshire start for the Pride and have helped Brock's team to a 13-4 record through Friday.

Rote was named the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference men's basketball player of the week on Jan. 14.

The former Mount Everett standout averaged 20 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2.5 assists in a pair of league wins the previous week. He opened the week with 10 points, 6 boards and 4 assists in a win over defending NEWMAC champion MIT. Then in an overtime win at Babson, Rote scored a career-high 30 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and 13-of-14 shooting from the foul line.

Rote is seventh in the conference with a 15.4 scoring average while Springfield guard Alex Berthiaume is third at 17.6.

Burke has been putting together solid numbers for the Pride. The former Hoosac Valley standout is 18th in the conference in scoring at 10 points per game and is fourth in the conference in rebounding with a 7.5 average.

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While football season may be long over, adding up all the awards and successes of former Wahconah Regional two-way standout Shaine Grogan has taken a little bit of time.

Grogan, who wrapped up his season at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, put together quite a senior year for the Engineers.

Starting at the top, the linebacker from Dalton was named the co-Defensive Player of the Year by the Worcester Area Football Association.

Grogan is part of the 2012 Steve "Merc" Morris Worcester Area All-Star team, made up of players from Division I Holy Cross, Division II Assumption, and the six Division III teams in the Worcester area. The team is named in memory of Steve Morris, the longtime Assistant Director of Athletics for Media Relations at Assumption College. Morris died in 2011.

Grogan was named to the All-Star team as a first-team linebacker selection and was one of eight Engineers named to the team.

Grogan finished second in the Liberty League with 99 tackles. He had 69 solo tackles, which led the conference. In addition, Grogan had 7.5 tackles for loss.

As an outside linebacker, Grogan had double-figure tackle totals five times in 2012. He also returned a fumble for a touchdown. That was a 16-yard ramble against Springfield in the regular-season finale.

While Grogan is listed as a senior, a release from WPI says he has another year of eligibility and plans to return in 2013.

If you know of any local athlete shining at his or her college, send a note to hherman@berkshireeagle.com