Don't blink during Sharon High School varsity girls basketball games this year.
Absent size, the Eagles plan to "run, run, run," head coach Kate Horsmann says.
Sharon opens its 2011-2012 season at Canton at 6:45 p.m. Friday.
"We're going to have to score a lot of points to win," Horsmann said during a recent practice.
"We're going to play a lot of man-to-man. Because if we play a zone, we don't pressure the ball, we're going to get smoked. We're just too small.
"We're going to play a lot of man-to-man and we're just going to run-and-gun. If people thought we were running-and-gunning last year, we're going to do more this year."
Last season, Sharon reached the MIAA Division 2 South Sectional quarterfinal round, where the Eagles lost to Oliver Ames, 54-39. Led by Hockomock League MVP and 2011 graduate Liz Wluka, Sharon had reached the state tournament by winning its final regular-season game to enter the postseason at 10-10. The Eagles were seeded 14th of 15 teams.
Senior tri-captains Anne Fritzson, Melissa Mulvany and Sarah Toole are among the returnees from last year. All three are guards.
Fritzson is "just so steady. She's good all around. She's a good defensive player. She's a good offensive player. She's just really calm, and that adds a lot for us," Horsmann said.
Toole is "a really good shooter," Horsmann said. And Mulvany, a point guard, "runs the point well. She's vocal."
"Our captains are not selected by how good they are or how much they're going to play. They're elected for their leadership," Horsmann noted.
Junior guard Katie Lowerre finished last season strong, the coach said.
"She's an energizer. She's quick. She runs the floor. She plays good defense," Horsmann said.
Senior guard Jessica Shenkel returns after a one-year absence.
"She's bigger. She's stronger. She's smart. She's experienced. She shoots the ball well," Horsmann said.
Sophomore guard Andrea Bender, meanwhile, is "smart. She's savvy. She plays really good defense," the coach said.
Sophomore guards Lily Abarbanel and Karlie O'Driscoll are both quick, and good shooters, Horsmann said. O'Driscoll is stronger, faster and more athletic than she was last season, while Abarbanel is "a terrific three-point shooter," the coach said.
Junior forward Aashna Narang, up from last season's JV team, is "fearless. A terrific rebounder and terrific defender," Horsmann said.
The three newest Eagles are sophomore point guard Emma Blau, sophomore forward Jenna Kubiak and freshman point guard Taitie Thomas.
Blau and Kubiak played for the freshman team last winter, Horsmann said.
"This is a big jump for them. But I do really think that the second half of the year, you'll see them make a big difference for us," she said.
Although Thomas is a point guard, "we'll probably swing her a little bit back and forth, but I think the second half of the year she'll be a bit player for us as well," Horsmann said.
The Eagles open the season with a three-game road trip: Friday night in Canton; at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday at Oliver Ames; and at 7 p.m. Jan. 3 at Burncoat in Worcester.
The home opener is at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 6 vs. Foxborough.