While last season’s Northeast 8 Conference champion Bellmont was built for that run, the status quo in the conference and its NHS predecessor has long been Norwell. And this group has not even reached its peak yet with a trio of guards at the forefront who will all be starting for the third straight season, now as juniors.
The first of those is Lauren Bales, who has become the point guard of the group after initially being a role player. Now, Bales is the one with the ball in her hands, empowered by the position that allows her to alter the flow of the Knights’ games. The trust in a true point guard is important for any team and the Knights trust Bales. She rarely shows any sign of being flustered. A picture of confidence, Bales probably doesn’t get enough credit for her ability to score in transition or in Norwell’s weaving offense.
There is no shame in Bales’ eight point per game average a year ago, but those pace setter numbers of three assists and 3.6 steals per game were both tops on the team and tell you a lot about what you need to know about Bales. Her work ethic is difficult to rival and they prides herself on being the first line of offense and the first line of defense. The success of the Knights and their every lofty expectations will start every night in Bales’ hands. She also shot the ball at a 32.9 percent success rate as a sophomore.
“She brings the necessary savvy we need from the point guard position. Lauren takes great pride in running our stuff. But more than anything, Lauren loves the competition and isn’t going to be intimidated in the moment,” Norwell coach Eric Thornton says. “She’s a very good shooter who you can’t afford to help off of. Lauren’s growth is to progress to the second or third option when her first read is not there. She has what it takes to get that done.”