Monday, December 9, 2013
It could be an aberration. Maybe I just got lucky. Whatever it is, I’ve seen some good signs in the girls basketball games I’ve covered this week.
A lot of people (including myself) have noted the decline in the quality of play in girls basketball. When people talk about that, they’re usually talking about offense — or actually, offense that people try to say is good defense. When you give up 30 or 35 points, now that’s usually good defense. When you give up 15 or 20 or 25 points, it’s because the other team played bad offense.
Anyway, I was encouraged by Tuesday’s Cony-Skowhegan game and Wednesday’s game between Hall-Dale and Carrabec. The players were making open shots. Of course, they still missed some, but there was good ball movement and some nice passing.
Cony impressed me with its ball rotation and post play — and this is a 2-4 team. The Rams are obviously much better than their record. Like Carrabec, sometimes they get out of control and make bad decisions. But you see that at every level of basketball.
I really liked what I saw from Carrabec’s offense. The Cobras were patient, but they were usually probing and looking for an opening. Sometimes teams like to say they’re patient, which really means they don’t have anyone who they trust to shoot, so they pass the ball around for 40 seconds every possession and try to win 30-25.
Carrabec has players who can shoot, like Becca Bergeron, Melissa White and Kara Hebert. The Cobras hustle for rebounds and they’re well-coached. I was impressed by center Marisa Murray when she got defensive rebounds. She was fully in control, and patient enough to get it to a guard to start the offense.
Actually all four of these teams (Carrabec, Cony, Hall-Dale and Skowhegan) have multiple players who can shoot. I’ve seen teams have their scorer get shut down and have no Plan B, but when Carrabec took away the pass to Hall-Dale’s Taylor Massey inside, Massey found other ways to get her points and other Bulldogs stepped up.
Skowhegan, of course, has multiple players who can score, and Amanda Johnson is easily one of the best players in central Maine. And if Cony can just knock down two or three more 3-pointers per game, that’s a team no one would want to face.
So I’m hopeful. I love seeing good basketball, and I love seeing close games. Send me some more in the new year, please.
Also, if you want updates from tonight's Edward Little-Messalonskee girls game, and updates on upcoming games this season, follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Matt_DiFilippo
Gary Hawkins has worked at the Kennebec Journal since 1980. His primary beats are baseball, boys basketball, girls and boys soccer and golf.