Best on the Shoreline!
It's time to nominate your favorites for the 2021 Best on the Shoreline Awards!
Sophomore guard Caeley Ayer is a bona fide playmaker for the Morgan girls’ basketball squad. (Photo courtesy of Caeley Ayer )
Morgan girls’ basketball Head Coach Caitlin Woods knew that Caeley Ayer was destined to achieve great things when Caeley stepped foot on the court last year. After earning a starting role as a freshman, Caeley is having an outstanding sophomore season for the Huskies’ club that’s aiming to make another playoff run in 2021.
“We had a phenomenal season last year. We finished 18-5, and it was an amazing experience to make it to the Shoreline championship,” says Caeley. “I’m hoping we can work just as hard this year and, despite COVID, get back to the championship and win. We are lucky enough to even play, so I’m very grateful to have a season and also be off to a good start this year.”
Morgan is off to a stellar start with its record of 6-2 this winter. A sophomore guard, Caeley is a playmaker on both ends of the floor and enjoys holding that role for the Huskies. She’s averaging 11.6 points per game this season.
“I love being a playmaker. I like to read the defense, make a move by them, or make a pass to an open teammate,” Caeley says. “This year, I have been working on my shooting and have had some success with 3-point shots. I also like stealing the ball. I like to anticipate and jump. Usually, I can tell when and where the player is going to pass the ball, so I set myself up in a position where I can try to get the steal. I have long arms, which can be an advantage for steals.”
Coach Woods describes Caeley as an integral player who makes an impact for Morgan in all phases of the game. Woods is impressed with Caeley’s ability to come up with big plays in the most pivotal moments.
“Caeley has been a critical component of the team’s success in both seasons that she has played,” says Woods. “She was tasked with the demanding challenge of starting as a freshman, because it was evident right away that she’s an extremely skilled basketball player and athlete, and she has a good understanding of the game. She has been a huge offensive and defensive threat, and she was instrumental in our team making it to the Shoreline Conference championship last season.”
In addition to Caeley’s skills, Coach Woods also praises her for the work ethic that she displays both on and off the court. Woods believes that Caeley’s game is only going to get better as the guard progresses through the latter half of her high school career.
“Caeley has already demonstrated that she’s a force to be reckoned with against our opponents, and I think she will continue to be a dominant player,” Woods says. “She is improving all of the time, and she certainly has the potential of being an absolute standout in the Shoreline Conference and state.”
Caeley has the good fortune of competing alongside her cousin Catie Donadio, a senior captain who recently scored her 1,000th career point for Morgan. Caeley models her game after Donadio’s and spent a lot of time shooting hoops in the driveway with her cousin and Donadio’s father Sean in preparation for the 2021 campaign. Caeley also sharpens her skills by competing at the AAU level.
“My cousin Catie and I share a special bond on and off the court. We have been playing together since we were little, and it’s been even more special to play with her at Morgan,” says Caeley. “During the spring, I play for a team called Connecticut Storm. The competition can be intense and high level. The coaches who have trained me really have helped my game improve. I get to go to tournaments, travel around the East Coast, and play top level teams.”
Caeley also plays for the girls’ soccer team at Morgan, where she’s an honors student. One of her biggest high school goals is to continue learning from her experiences and keep growing as an overall athlete with the Huskies.
“A lot of my friends are also athletic, so we like to do some sort of outside activity surrounding sports or being active,” Caeley says. “I’ve been playing both soccer and basketball since I can remember.”
Caeley also has her sights set on potentially playing basketball in college. She’s still a few years away from that, but the possibility of playing college ball is definitely on Caeley’s mind.
“As of now, that is the goal,” says Caeley. “I am not 100-percent sure yet, but I am hoping I can play at that level, and it is what I want to do.”