Saugerties girls’ basketball team faces tough season

Lady Sawyer leaders Jaclyn Murphy, Grace VanRoy and Erin Dudzic, along with Ana VanRoy (not pictured), will lead this year’s team of young players. (photo by Robert Ford)

It’s going to be an interesting year for the Saugerties Lady Sawyers’ basketball team. The team will have no seniors, and will be led by a handful of juniors who have been playing together since fourth grade.
The team’s schedule has gotten a lot tougher than it’s been the last few years. This year, the Sawyers will be playing state-leading Warwick and other top teams such as Minisink.

The Sawyers have only ten players on their varsity. A number of players from last year who are seniors this year did not go out for the team.


The members of this unit know each other: where they’ll be on the court, their strengths and weaknesses.

The core team has been playing together on Biddy and then Junior teams, says head coach Mike Melville.  “They play together in AAU and the Columbia-Greene summer league,” says head coach Mike Melville.

Returning from last year at the VanRoy twins, Grace and Ana, who will provide power under the boards. Both have the ability to pop out to the perimeter and hit from distance.

Also back is Jaclyn Murphy, who can shoot well on a regular basis from beyond the three-point line, and Erin Dudzic, who will usually be bringing the ball up the court.

Up from JV are Skylar France and Elsie Peters.

“Everyone is going to have to pitch in to help us win,” Melville said. “This is the first time I haven’t had any seniors on the team, and the smallest squad I’ve coached.”

On defense the Sawyers will press. They’ll play girl-to-girl on offense. Melville said he would take advantage of his players’ speed and “play up-tempo.”

The girls open their season at home on November 30 and December 1.  They’ll be competing against Warwick and Minisink in the annual Shane Geisler Tournament.