Thursday, December 5, 2013
What was the best moment of the 2011-12 Maine high school girls basketball season in central Maine?
Was it the Cony and Nokomis girls going undefeated in the regular season?
Was it Hall-Dale senior Carylanne Wolfington scoring her 1,000th point in the playoffs and the student section going nuts?
Or was it something that happened in a game that was meaningless, except to one senior and a community?
It might have been the last one, so here’s that story.
Cony was going for an undefeated season heading into its season finale at Erskine. The game didn’t mean anything for the Eagles, because they had no chance for a playoff spot.
It was senior night, but Erskine senior Megan Moore knew she wasn’t going to play. She had injured her right thumb against Brunswick in the seventh game of the season, and hadn’t played since.
“When we came out onto the floor, she’s just sitting on the bench,” Erskine coach Scott Corey said. “My assistant, Sharon Peabody, is sitting on the bench with her arm around her, just consoling her. Megan is really trying to compose herself, but she’s just crying. That night, I think it just hit her, that this is my final time in this uniform, and I don’t get a chance to play.”
When Corey met with Cony coach Karen Magnusson before the game, they talked about their seniors. Corey mentioned Moore, and how she was done for the season.
“Let’s get in her in the game,” Magnusson said.
So with the blessing of official Greg Boyd, they came up with a plan: As long as the game wasn’t close, Magnusson would call timeout in the final minute, Moore would enter the game, and Magnusson would tell her players to let Moore score.
Corey kept this to himself until there were about two minutes left in the fourth quarter, and Cony was on its way to a 70-47 victory. Then he told Moore to take off her jewelry, because she was going into the game.
“I couldn’t look at her face, because I probably would have broken down and started crying myself,” Corey said. “You’d think we told her she won a million bucks. She was just thrilled.”
Magnusson called timeout and Moore went onto the floor for the last time, and made an uncontested layup. She got a nice ovation from the crowd, and all of this was something she never would have expected an hour earlier.
“There was more hugging on the sidelines in the last 22, 25 seconds of that game than at any other time in my career,” Corey said.
As it turned out, Moore made Erskine’s first basket of the season, and the last one. So maybe it wasn’t the best story of the season, but if you told me it was, I don't know that I could argue with you.
Gary Hawkins has worked at the Kennebec Journal since 1980. His primary beats are baseball, boys basketball, girls and boys soccer and golf.