Westford girls basketball player Carly Davey driven to succeed – Lowell Sun

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WESTFORD — The difference between good players and elite ones is that the best of the best are constantly adding to their game and adjusting to what other teams try to do against them.

An example of that is Westford Academy senior point guard Carly Davey. Named the Dual County League’s Large School MVP last week, Davey noticed at the start of the year that opposing teams were closing down the lanes on her, nullifying her ability to drive to the hoop, one of her strengths.

“Most people would say that she drives to the basket extremely well,” said WA head coach Russ Coward. “The reason she’s able to do that is because she’s also an excellent 3-point shooter. One of the things that has actually improved tremendously over the season is she’s starting to pull up mid-range and knock down those eight to 10-foot shots.”

According to her coach, in the first half of the season, teams would be pressing and collapsing on Davey. They were stopping her, so she adjusted and started taking  pull-up jumpers.

“It’s been really impressive to see because she’s an excellent player, and you give her a suggestion and she puts it right into her repertoire of moves,” said Coward. “Those jump shots just makes it so much harder to guard her and it also opens up the passing lanes.”

That addition to her game has taken her to a new level. Davey’s now averaging 16.5 points per game to go along with six assists and three steals. She has scored over 650 career points and would have been on target for 1,000 had last year’s season not been cancelled.
“My dad and I are always together and I would shoot and he would rebound for me, which is awesome,” said Davey.  “We also having a shooting machine gun at WA so I’m probably the biggest user of that. Repetition is the key. People were collapsing on me, so I had to find another way (to score) so (the mid-range jumpers) was something I looked to and now I use it more. I can read the defense a little bit better now and I see when I’m open, when I need to pass it or kick it out.”

Trying to master the jump shots is pretty difficult, especially when you stand at 5-foot-3.

“It’s kind of a joke,” Davey said. “I tell people that I’m 5-6 because that’s what I’m listed as, but I’m really 5-3. (Being 5-3) hurt me in the recruiting standpoint. That’s one of the first things that people look at it. ‘Oh, she’s a guard and she’s only 5-3 or 5-4. That’s going to be harder for her to defend some bigger people.’ It hindered me during the college process but it’s more about finding the positives in that and using the advantages in my game compared to my size disadvantage.”

Before the season started, Davey committed to play at Bowdoin College. The Polar Bears will be getting a player who has improved her game defensively, as well as shooting and especially distributing the ball.

“(The best part of her game) is her vision (on the court),” said Coward. “Her vision gives her the ability to make really quick decisions on whether to shoot, whether to pass or whether to drive. She really sees the court. We’ve had a couple of people come through here who have made some passes and all of the coaches are like ‘whoa, we didn’t even see that’ and Carly is definitely one of those players.”

Davey said that athletics runs in the family. Her father grew up on Long Island and played basketball in high school and then a year at Ithaca College and her brother Oliver is a Div. 1 tennis player at Loyola-Maryland.

”We’re very competitive and it’s a big sibling rivalry. He always asks to play me in 1-on-1 (in basketball) and it usually ends with some fighting,” she said with a laugh.

Davey has led the Grey Ghosts to a 13-6 regular season record amd WA will host league rival Boston Latin in the first round of the Div. 1 tournament on Thursday in what will likely be Davey’s last home game.

“I’ve been going to the games at WA since before I was in high school and obviously have been playing there for the past four years so it’s going to be bittersweet because I’m excited about next year to play at Bowdoin but that court will always have a special place in my heart,” she said. “It’s where it all really started for me. It’ll be sad. There’s been a lot of great traditions and moments on that court.

“WA has just been a really great experience for me all around. All of my teammates and coaches have just helped me to prepare to play in college. I have a lot of great memories and there’s been a lot of big games that I’ll always remember.”

Regardless of if it is her last game or she has a few more under her belt, Davey has certainly left a mark with the program.
“As far as being a scoring point guard, she’s been one of the best ones that we’ve had in the program in the last decade or so,” said Coward.  “She really kind of drives almost everything that we do. Not just with the scoring, but she’s getting about six assists per game and it’s pretty clear that the team feeds off of her energy. She’s not only scoring and setting up other players, but she’s making the constant consistent play, she has that positive encouragement and just displays that constant extreme effort.”

From left: Westford Academy girls basketball players Kiani Barnard-Pratt, Tamar Almasian, Kate Barnes, Carly Davey, Abby Chambers and Kayley Carignan are ready for Thursday’s State Tourney opener. Courtesy photo
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