Hoop dreams linger for Marble

This story was published on Feb. 24, 2003 on Page C6 in all editions of the Bangor Daily News

BANGOR – Watching the Eastern Maine Class D girls basketball final brought back a lot of memories for former Woodland star Ashley Marble.

Marble, who was the EM Class D MVP winner two years in a row and helped the Dragons win two straight state titles, was a member of the University of Maine’s volleyball team last fall but has left the squad to focus on studying.

But Marble hasn’t left thoughts of playing basketball behind completely. In fact, Marble said she has spoken with UMaine women’s basketball coach Sharon Versyp about a role on next year’s team.

“She’s having a great year right now and I haven’t made my decision yet, so I don’t know,” Marble said after cheering Woodland on to the Eastern D title Saturday morning. “She does have a full 15 [scholarship players], so who knows. I have to talk to her after the season, so we’ll wait and see.”

Marble was on a volleyball scholarship. She will have the scholarship for the rest of the semester but will work along with going to school, which is a big focus for her now.

Marble is a pre-med major.

“I thought I loved [volleyball], but I love basketball and I really want to focus on my studies,” she said. “It was a really hard adjustment for me to go to college. I was homesick and I really thought I was too young at times. So I just want to work on schoolwork.”

Marble has made several appearances at the tournament this year. Like the rest of the Woodland crowd, she was on the edge of her seat Saturday as the Dragons rallied in the fourth quarter, freshman Michelle Ferry made a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime, and the team pulled out a 62-57 win over Lee.

“For a freshman to step up like that, it’s so sweet,” Marble said. “Katie Smith and Kaitlyn [Leeman] and Erica [Brown], we’re all so close, just like sisters of mine. I practiced with them over the break. Watching these guys makes me miss basketball.”

Julia Knights, a former teammate of Marble at Woodland who has had a stellar freshman season playing for Maine Maritime Academy of Castine, also was at Saturday’s regional final.