At a school like St. Mary, where the student body – a meager 86 – is so small, to be involved in just about anything requires all hands to be on deck.
Chiara Doran takes that seriously.
A four-sport athlete, the senior plays basketball, tennis and runs on both the track and cross-country teams, though none were her first choice.
“Every single team I’ve been on, it’s been a team,” said Doran, whose first goal was to be a cheerleader. “It’s like a family. It’s never anything awkward. It’s always good and we always support each other through anything.”
Doran’s basketball career started in seventh grade, though her first varsity action didn’t come until a year later.
“I started playing with my sister (Brianna Doran) and she sort of inspired me with the rebounds and stuff,” Doran said. “I never expected to get 1,000 (points) or anything.”
St. Mary girls’ coach Gwen Duncan said Doran, who on Tuesday night had 24 of the Lady Vikings’ 26 points, is a player whose work ethic and positive attitude are contagious.
“She’s a go-getter,” Duncan said. “She’s a leader on and off the court. She’s the epitome of a student-athlete. I remember after her eighth-grade year she came to me and said, ‘What can I do to improve my game?’
“When you have an athlete ask what they can do to get better, you know they know they have potential. She’s taken some hard hits. There were some where I didn’t know if she’d get up.”
And, during a season where St. Mary, began the season shorthanded, Duncan said it was because of Doran that several of her current players stepped up to make sure things kept going.
“We have players who have not played basketball, but because of her, they all came out for the first game so she would have a season,” Duncan said. “That’s the kind of respect they have for her as a student and as a basketball player. They do not want her to miss her senior year because of injuries to other players. So, we’ve built the team around her.”
Doran said she believes the future of the girls’ basketball team is bright, with players like freshman Kaitlynn Burrus (7.5 points per game) and her remaining three seasons.
“I’m really excited for them, because I know that now we have people and we’re getting excited to play,” Doran said. “I’m excited that they’re going to have a team.”