Friday, March 7, 2014
A few extra thoughts from Messalonskee’s shocking win over Morse on Friday night:
• It is rare for a team to bounce back in the span of a few weeks the way Messalonskee did. The Eagles could have easily packed it in when they scored under 20 points in back-to-back games. That they didn’t is a tribute to the players for continuing to work hard, and coach Brenda Beckwith and assistant Rob Rodrigue.
• Morse coach Mike Hart was in a box with regard to defending Messalonskee’s Megan Pelletier. Morse has a player who can defend Pelletier in 6-foot-1 Nikolene Ostergaard. But after Ostergaard picked up her second foul early in the second quarter, Hart understandably didn’t want Ostergaard trying to deal with Pelletier’s dips, fakes and moves. The problem was, no one else on Morse had both the size and quickness to defend Pelletier, and she went crazy in the third quarter, scoring 11 points and going 7-for-7 from the line.
• Messalonskee point guard Mary Badeen deserves a lot of credit for not having to sit out any of the second half because of foul trouble. In the final second of the first half, Badeen picked up her third foul when she hit a scoop shot but also careened into a Morse player on one of those split-second, could-go-either-way calls. Badeen did not pick up another foul the rest of the game, and her seven points and ball-handling were two big reasons Messalonskee held on for the upset.
• It was a shot by Badeen that showed for good that this was Messalonskee’s night. Morse had cut the lead from 16 points to nine, the Shipbuilders’ fans were getting into it, and Messalonskee had committed a couple of turnovers. With the Eagles leading 44-35, Badeen pulled up on a fast break and launched a 25-footer. It was a swish, and Messalonskee led by 12.
• Morse coach Mike Hart spoke to reporters after the game. Hart summed up the pain his team was feeling and how helpless he felt as their leader to make them feel immediately better:
“You don't ever have anything to say when you go into that locker room and the girls are crying,” Hart said. “You wish you had another day to play, and we don’t.”
Travis Lazarczyk has worked at the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal since 2000. He covers football, basketball and baseball. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/tlazarmaine