With new girls varsity and junior varsity basketball coaches, the Mount View High School jayvees appeared to be in for a transition year. However, first-year jayvee coach Katelyn Ross, along with first-year varsity coach Erica Gabbianelli, were not going to let that get in the way of success.

“We asked a lot of these girls,” Ross said. “We are both very excited to restore the program to the perennial contender that it used to be.”

With that mentality, Ross set out to challenge her team this year and make the most of the season. According to her, she did just that.

By the end of the season the Mustangs finished with a 7-9 record, “which is impressive for a team with seven freshmen and really no height to speak of,” Ross said.

She also said the team “showed a lot of improvement throughout the course of the season.”

The team included juniors Alex Carleton, Wendy Gibbs and Colleen Schofield; sophomores Kelsey Higgins, Kaitlin Leavitt, Alexis Morse and Gabrielle Rossignol; and freshmen Morgan Clifford, Shaniah Gilley, MyKenna Grotton, Nicole Hughes, Braley Leadbetter, Courtney Morse, Alexis Strain and Stephanie Stilkey.

Coach Ross said her players always played with determination and spirit.

“My girls showed a lot of character, they were incredibly coachable and willing to work hard day in and day out,” she said.

Even though the Thorndike-based team had more losses than wins, Ross said there were six games decided by five or less points. The Mustangs won four of those games.

One highlight of the campaign came against Waterville, a team with only two losses and plenty of varsity swing players. Ross said her team finished with a five-point loss in that game.

Mount View showed improvement as well. Early in the season, the ‘Stangs were cut short as Camden Hills beat them by more than 20 points. In the second half of the season, Mount View had improved and was ready to be more competitive with top foes.

While they lost that second game with the Windjammers, the Mustangs fell by only four points. Even though it was a defeat, coach Ross saw the silver lining.

“We were a very hardworking, scrappy team, who I think are very willing to put in the work to be a decent Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B team,” Ross said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group to start my coaching career with.”

Village NetMedia Sports Reporter Frederick Freudenberger can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at fritz@villagesoup.com.