Women’s Basketball Looks to Continue Hot Start to Season

In her second season as the Head Coach of Portsmouth Christian Academy’s Women’s Varsity Basketball Team, Assistant Athletic Director, Katie Robertson, has her team sitting 5th in Division IV with a record of 7-2. A native of the White Mountains area of New Hampshire, Robertson is no stranger to coaching basketball in Christian schools.

Growing up homeschooled, Robertson played basketball for her local Christian school, Ossipee Valley Christian School. Her relationship was basketball wasn’t exactly “love at first sight.”

“Honestly, I absolutely hated basketball my first year. I didn’t understand the game and was clearly a beginner. My coach at the time encouraged me by naming me Rookie of the Year, and I think that helped me realize that I wasn’t playing as terribly as I thought I was.”

Choosing to stick with the game, Robertson moved on to play at Living Waters Christian School for the tail-end of her high school career. After graduating, Katie stuck around and helped coach Living Waters the following season. After another stop at Temple Academy in Augusta, Maine, where she helped lead Temple to a 14-5 record, Robertson landed here at Portsmouth Christian Academy.

“At that point I was graduating from Liberty University as a Sports Management major and had learned what I wanted in a school. I wanted a private school. I preferred a Christian school, and I wanted a place that valued athletics. PCA seemed like the perfect fit, and to this day, I’m convinced it was 100% God-ordained. I had lived near the Conway border my entire life and never heard of PCA, and the fact that the assistant athletic director position and head girls coach position both opened up the year I was graduating–it cannot be a coincidence.”, said Robertson. 

Coach Robertson rallies her team during a timeout. (Credit: Jilliana Stevens, Ball603.com)

After the Lady Eagles’ 10-8 season that saw them fall in the Preliminary Round, Robertson is back with another strong group in the 2022-23 season.

“Going into this season, I was really excited about the personnel we have. It’s not very common for a high school team to have more than 2-3 players that can really play basketball well, have the game IQ that the varsity level needs, and shoot the ball well. We are so deep this year, and it’s been exciting to see what a well-rounded team we have.”

“Maddie West (senior, guard), Ava Buchanan (freshman, guard), and Hannah Dion (senior, forward) were all players I expected to lead the team this season. All three are consistent scoring threats and that alone gives our team an advantage. Maddie has the long ball. Hannah has the post but can be a quick 3-point shot as well, and Ava has the leadership of a point guard and her ability to drive to the basket is excellent.”

The Lady Eagles have their bases covered at three key positions on the floor. Buchanan can distribute and ball handle. West is a great spot-up shooter. And, Dion is a formidable force under the basket. Having picked up some wide-margin victories early in the season, it could be tempting for the high-flying Eagles to rest on their laurels, but Coach Robertson says the team is more than aware that the second half of the season is going to pick up quickly.

Hannah Dion grabs a rebound against Sunapee. (Credit: Jilliana Stevens, Ball603.com)
Maddie West drives to the lane. (Credit: Ball603.com)
Ava Buchanan announced in starting lineups. (Credit: Ball603.com)

“We started the season off with three solid wins. Everything went our way and according to our game plan. It was easy and fun. We’ve faced some tougher opponents and, while we’ve still come out with wins, I think it’s been a good wake up call that we can’t just waltz our way to the tournament without breaking a sweat. Our team has determined that our goals for the year, in no particular order are to support each other, trust each other, and win. No matter who we are playing and when, the message is the same: we can’t win without supporting and trusting each other. If we don’t get the W, but we trusted and supported each other, it’s all we can ask at the end of the day.”

Robertson’s Lady Eagles have big games coming up soon on the calendar, facing opponents like Sunapee, Newmarket, Farmington, and Masonic, all sitting directly behind PCA in the Division IV standings. Following their senior campaign, Maddie West and Hannah Dion will both be continuing their basketball career in college, with Dion heading to Gordon College, and West attending Norwich University.