BVT’s 3 Girls Hoop Captains All Hail from Bellingham
Feb 28, 2018 06:00AM ● Published by Kenneth Hamwey
Erin Fraine, Lyndsay Morse, and Kourtnie Page
Lyndsay Morse, Kourtnie Page and Erin Fraine have a lot in common—they’re all from Bellingham, they’re all seniors and top-notch students, they all play guard in basketball, and they all chose to attend Blackstone Valley Tech.
Another link the trio shares became a reality when coach Brittney Kahler’s BVT players elected captains. The tech school draws students from 13 communities, but when the players voted, they made it a clean sweep for Bellingham.
“It’s the first time in my seven years as coach that all my captains are from the same town,” Kahler said. “Lyndsay leads by example, Kourtnie is more of a vocal leader and Erin is a combination of both. They’re quality people and players. It’s obvious that Bellingham turns out wonderful kids and outstanding individuals.”
It’s also obvious that Kahler and her players have been a dominant force. During her seven years on the job, the Beavers have won six Colonial Athletic League (CAL) championships. Last year, her team had a 17-3 record and won the State Vocational crown, and her 2012-13 squad advanced to the Sectional Tournament final, where it lost in overtime.
This year’s contingent, which was 15-2 at Bulletin deadline, is another success story—a CAL title has been achieved and another tourney trek is about to begin. And it’s been Bellingham’s captains who have played a major role in enhancing BVT’s rich tradition. Here’s a look at the Bellingham trio:
Lyndsay MorseThe 5-foot-5 guard, who has played AAU basketball for four years, could be competing next winter for Bard College in New York. She’s currently mulling other choices that include Bryant, Westfield State and UMass-Dartmouth.
Kahler calls Morse “our main leader” and she also admires her captain’s intensity. “It’s unparalleled,” Kahler said. “Lyndsay is an all-around player who excels on defense and can shoot and drive to the hoop. She usually guards our opponent’s top scorer.”
With the tourney about to begin, BVT will be aiming to avoid a first-round exit, as it did last year against Whitinsville-Christian. “We want to redeem ourselves,” Morse said. “It’s realistic that we can get to the Sectional final and win it and, hopefully, keep advancing.”
Morse’s other basketball strengths include court awareness, a high hoop IQ and a keen passing ability. Her best game came when she was a sophomore, in first-round tourney action against Main South. BVT won in triple overtime. “We were a low seed and had lost to them twice in the regular season,” Morse recalled. “I didn’t score a lot but my defense was solid and I stayed calm in a high-pressure game. I played all the second half and all three overtimes.”
A National Honor Society student, the 17-year-old Morse hopes to major in business in college, but her course emphasis at BVT has been in plumbing. “I chose to go to BVT because I saw an excellent educational opportunity,” she said. “I wanted a different kind of educational experience. I thought I might want to become a plumber, but now I’ll focus on business.”
Relying on a philosophy of playing hard to win, Morse also is aware that reaching her potential and enjoying her athletic experience are keys in her competitive outlook. “Sports teach you how to accept responsibility and be accountable,” Morse said. “You also learn to work with others and how to manage your time.”
Kahler noted that her three captains don’t have high scoring averages because they strive to be all-around and balanced. Morse averages 8.7 points, 5 steals and 3 assists.
Kourtnie PagePage is a versatile player, able to rebound, shoot, pass, and communicate. Her coach often moves her to small forward, where her 5-foot-7 frame can handle the contact.
“Kourtnie is awesome,” Kahler said. “A hard-worker, she’s a shooter and rebounder who’s very coachable. I like her positive outlook.”
A National Honor Society student who also is a technical honor society member, Page will be attending the University of New Haven, where she’ll study to be a dental hygienist. Her immediate goal, however, is to get some satisfaction by advancing in the playoffs. “We’re a hungry team after bowing out in the first round last year,” she noted. “It’s a good possibility we can win the Sectional and get to the States, where anything can happen.”
Page’s best game was in the State Vocational Tourney last year when BVT downed Whittier for the title. “It was the final and I got 10 points and 14 rebounds,” she recalled. “Another highlight was being voted last year as the most improved player.”
Not surprised that her teammates elected three captains from Bellingham, Page said, “There’s no doubt that we work well together.” She also indicated that she chose BVT because of its vast educational offerings. “I like the courses and, since I love basketball, I felt I had the confidence to play at BVT,” she noted. “Coach Kahler is one of the best coaches I’ve had and she’s truly a great motivator.”
A student who has had perfect attendance for two years, the 18-year-old Page has been a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in North Attleboro. She also competes in track—her triple jump of 34 feet, 4-1/2 inches is a school record.
Page, who averages 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 5.5 points, adheres to a competitive philosophy of working hard and having fun in the process. “If those things occur and you lose, then there are no regrets,” she said. “Learning life lessons through sports also is important.”
Erin FraineA 5-foot-11 guard-forward, Fraine is adept on a basketball court and also cool under pressure.
Consider BVT’s first game last year—facing Advanced Math & Science Academy, the Beavers trailed, 24-23, with two seconds left in the game. Fraine was fouled, stepped to the line and calmly sank both shots for the victory. “I just focused on my free-throw routine and tried to stay calm,” she said.
Fraine, who will need surgery after the playoffs to repair a broken foot suffered during her final season of soccer, believes the BVT girls can play a big role in the tourney, thanks to five seniors and a group of talented underclassmen. “We work well together and our team chemistry is excellent,” she said.
Her coach is a big fan of Fraine’s style of basketball. “Erin proved she can be a point guard as a freshman,” Kahler said. “She can shoot, drive to the basket, rebound and post up an opponent. She’s a high-quality leader.”
An honor-roll student, Fraine will attend Bridgewater State, where she’ll major in elementary education or special education. A winner of leadership and sportsmanship awards in basketball at BVT, the 18-year-old Fraine is a student of English and culinary arts. “I chose to enroll at BVT because of the variety of courses that should lead to great opportunities,” she noted. “Culinary arts involves working with people, and for a teacher that background will be a plus.”
All three girls credit Fraine’s father (Ed) for helping them develop their basketball skills in Bellingham’s youth league. “It’s a tribute to the town that we learned great skills,” Erin said. “I believe our hard work and dedication are why we were elected captains.”
Fraine’s athletic philosophy is focused on winning, but she’s aware of the importance of reaching her potential and having fun. “Sports have also taught me to be a leader and to work as a team,” said Fraine, who averages 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 3.3 points.