Flewelling sparks win over Vermont Tech

12/02/2015 by Dan Doyon

PORTSMOUTH — Markey Flewelling’s basketball career has seen its positives and, unfortunately, its share of frustrations.

Through three ACL tears since her freshman year of high school, Flewelling’s path has her leading the inaugural season of the Great Bay Community College women’s program — which is off to a promising start.

The senior point guard scored 16 points to lead the Herons to a 53-38 victory over Vermont Tech in Yankee Small College Conference action on Tuesday night, improving Great Bay’s overall record to 5-2 (4-2 in conference).

“It’s been really nice coming out of my third knee surgery. It was one of those things where sports might have never been an option again,” Flewelling said. “To be able to step on a team that is a brand new thing and make some sort of memory is awesome.”

Flewelling’s first knee injuries came during her first two seasons in high school at Winnacunnet, before she transferred to Portsmouth. A pair of solid seasons with the Clippers led Flewelling to a successful freshman season at New England College, when the dream of playing Division I basketball at UNH became a reality.

After sitting out the 2013-14 season due to transfer rules, Flewelling’s bad luck struck again — another knee injury that ended her Division I hopes prior to the start of last season. She decided to enroll at Great Bay shortly thereafter, went through another rehab stint, and the new women’s basketball program at Great Bay became reality.

Great Bay coach Allyson Britton was glad to have Flewelling as the centerpiece of her first team.

“Her leadership is what we need,” Britton said. “We’re a group of players who haven’t played in a while or are fresh out of high school. Both types of players need that leadership Markey brings, and they all look to her.”

The Herons are challenged with numbers — only six players dressed on Tuesday night — with the starting five playing the high majority of minutes. Flewelling netted seven points in the opening quarter and 2009 Traip Academy graduate Jordyn Cronen added a pair of 3-pointers to give the Herons a 17-6 lead after the first quarter.

Cronen assumed her competitive basketball career was over after her senior season in high school, but she quickly sought out Britton once she found out about the team.

“I’ve just been trying to get everyone together and I feel old sometimes,” Cronen said. “We’ve come together real well as a team and it’s nice having Markey with the experience and with me being an older player, I kind of need that and I know the other girls look up to her, too.”

Vermont Tech (2-5 overall, 0-4 in conference) closed to within 24-16 at halftime, but 2014 Farmington High graduate Ashley Lambert got rolling with seven points in the third quarter to maintain the Herons’ cushion of 38-30 entering the fourth. Dover’s Nichole Marrero added six points for Great Bay.

“It’s a little tough during the week because of low numbers,” Britton said. “But somehow the players come together. We have players that play the whole game without a break and they never complain and that’s why we’re 5-2. It’s how hard they work in practice and how hard they bring it to the game.”

“This is what we’ve been doing so far, we can’t look to the bench for a sub, so you’ve got to keep moving,” Flewelling said. “It’s kind of hard, but we’re pretty pleased with the way it has gone so far.”

Britton is expecting at least two more players to join the squad when a new semester begins next month. The Herons host their own Holiday Festival this weekend with games against Paul Smith’s College and World of Life.

“It was a little chaotic at the beginning because it was a new program,” Cronen said. “It’s been an experience, but it’s been fun.”

Great Bay men fall

The Great Bay Community College men gave Vermont Tech a battle in an 85-74 loss in Portsmouth on Tuesday night. The Herons were led by Eric Leslie with 26 points and Vinnie Khounxay with 19 (six 3-pointers). The team dropped to 1-8 on the season.