BY Bob Whitney
Former Braintree High School basketball star Paige Marshall has helped the Stonehill College women's basketball team get off to a fast 5-0 start this season.
Marshall scored a career-high 21 points in leading the Skyhawks to an 81-67 victory over defending national champion Bentley on Nov. 22.
Marshall, who led Braintree High School to the first of three consecutive MIAA Div. 1 South Sectional championships in 2012-13, was red-hot from the field on 8-of-11 shooting, including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc while converting both free-throw attempts.
Marshall, who has been a defensive stalwart in her first two seasons with the Skyhawks, has grown into a more complete basketball player this year as a junior.
"I am shooting with much more confidence this year," said Marshall.
She also added four rebounds, four steals and two assists in the winning effort which soured Bentley's afternoon, when they hoisted the national championship banner.
The loss dropped Bentley (2-2) in the national poll from No. 5 to No. 19.
Through the first five games, Marshall has amassed some excellent stats to substantiate her increased confidence.
The former Wamp captain and All Scholastic is shooting a robust 52.3 percent from the field, including 44.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Marshall is averaging 12.8 points per game through the first five games.
Stonehill coach Trisha Brown attributes Marshall's outstanding start to her work ethic and overall confidence.
"Paige (Marshall) is just such a hard worker," noted Brown, who also coached current BHS coach Kristen McDonnell. "She came into the preseason in the best shape ever.
"Being in great shape has helped her on-court performance and has given Paige that extra boost of confidence to be an excellent shooter."
Another local high school product familiar to many Forum readers that is filling up the stat sheet for the Skyhawk's is Scituate's Kelly Martin.
Martin, who starts at point guard alongside Marshall, had a game high 19 points to lead Stonehill to a 73-62 win over Franklin Pierce on Nov. 25.
Stonehill's next home game is Dec. 10 when they host Saint Anselm (N.H.) College (5:30 p.m.).
Stonehill is ranked 10th in the latest USA TODAY Division II Coaches poll.
Follow Bob Whitney on Twitter: @WhitneyBob.