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Freshman Leads Harborfields’ Youth Movement
Jay Mumford


Bridgit Ryan’s eyes were soaked with tears after a tough loss to a longer, more experienced and (more importantly) older Division team in the Long Island ‘A’ Championship. Her game high 17 points weren’t enough this time around, but the fact that the freshman small forward is at the eye of the Harborfields Lady Tornadoes means one thing…there‘s a good chance that this tornado can do some serious damage in seasons to come. At that point, there probably won’t be much to sulk about.

“Amazing”, blurted Harborfields Head Coach Russ Tietjen when asked for an adjective to describe his young prolific scorer. “ Bridgit has a lot of tools, and she‘s going to get stronger and more physical.” After her inaugural varsity season as an 8th grader, the 5’10 Ryan has emerged in her freshman campaign (the 2009-10 season) as one of Harborfields’ deadliest weapons. At 11.3 PPG and around 5 RPG, she was the Lady Tornadoes’ leading scorer, and was instrumental in them grabbing the Suffolk 'A' title. “She’s a great shooter from both outside and inside, and with her height, she’s really a difficult match-up for someone.”

With a whole spring and summer of work ahead and the close loss to Division as motivation, Ryan’s primary goal is to lead the youth-infused Lady Tornadoes -who also included a junior point guard (Lynn Zhong), a sophomore shooting guard (Alexia O’Connor) and a fellow freshman (Amy Werbitski)- back to Farmingdale. Ryan herself has three more years to nail it all down.

“The team realizes that we’re just going to get better", Ryan said. "Only good things will happen in the future”,

Her quest for another run starts as early as April, when she fills her spot on the Long Island Renegades, a traveling AAU squad. Despite her youth, Ryan understands the importance of matching up with a higher level of competition and diversifying her skill sets on the spring and summer circuits.

“I’d like to improve my ball handling skills and my foul shots (this summer)”, she said. “I also would like to get stronger”. Whether  Ryan becomes an impossible to match up with point guard, an all-around scoring threat, a deadly perimeter shooter or a tough forward, all of the foundations are there. Her height, youth and skill sets are all to her advantage, and with continued hard work, it won’t be long before colleges begin to sniff around. But growing and winning supersede all, and Ryan is primed for both.

“Bridgit is great, but you don’t want to put so much pressure and such high expectations on someone that young”, Coach Tietjen said. “But she really stepped up this season. She’s ready to be a leader, and she does everything she’s supposed to do.”
 

 

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