Housy gets 'Strong' new head girls b-ball coach

FALLS VILLAGE — The 2008-09 season for the Housatonic Valley Regional High School varsity girls basketball team was like a fairy tale.

The team went all the way to the state finals, ending its season in fifth place in the Berkshire League with an impressive 19 wins and six losses.

The team had Paxton Thornton, who was the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,483 points.

The team also had coach Kevin Riley, who, since his debut in 1992, coached 1,275 games and racked up 245 wins and 152 losses.

After the season ended, Riley retired and Thornton graduated.

Riley was hard to replace, and the search for a new coach has taken quite a bit of time and effort.

Last week, just a month before the new season begins, the school named Parker Strong  its new varsity girls basketball team coach.

“I want to be part of a winning tradition at Housy and I am hoping to build on it,� Strong said. “I know we all have big shoes to fill, but the Patrick Ewing theory will not apply here.�

Strong, who graduated from Central Connecticut University with a bachelor’s degree in 2006, has been a high school basketball coach for five years, coaching at both Lewis Mills High School and East Hampton High School.

“To me, it is always discipline first,� Strong said. “And with discipline comes execution. With execution we can beat anyone.�

He added that the “little things that you don’t see in box scores� are also important.

“For example, like passing the basketball to the chest and not to someone’s feet,� he said. “Little things like that add up.�

The team’s first home game will be on Friday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. against Wamogo.

“I am looking forward to the season,� Strong said.

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