February 15

CENTER COURT: Nokomis girls beat John Bapst

Shaw, defense lift Warriors to a quarterfinal victory.

By Matt DiFilippo mdifilippo@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

BANGOR — Nokomis senior Taylor Shaw and her coach, Michelle Paradis, both thought the Warriors could have played better defense on Saturday morning against 10th-seeded John Bapst. But Nokomis played defense more than well enough to win.

The Warriors forced 22 turnovers and held John Bapst to 7 of 30 shooting, as Nokomis coasted to a 42-22 victory in an Eastern B girls basketball quarterfinal at the Cross Insurance Center.

Shaw led the second-ranked Warriors with 20 points, including 10 in the third quarter when Nokomis pulled away. The Warriors play No. 3 Mt. Desert Island in the semifinals at 7:05 p.m., Wednesday in Bangor.

“We kind of slacked off a little bit,” Shaw said. “But in the end, we pulled it together.”

Oddly enough, Nokomis was trying to buck a tournament trend by winning its quarterfinal game. The No. 2 seeds in Eastern A girls (Lawrence) and Eastern B boys (Camden Hills) both lost on Friday.

“We knew we couldn’t take them for granted,” Nokomis coach Michelle Paradis said. “This is their home floor. It’s definitely something we have to worry about. We had some lapses, but we pulled through.”

Nokomis led 11-7 after one quarter, then held John Bapst to four field goals the rest of the game. Anna MacKenzie (nine points, six rebounds) passed well when the Crusaders tried to collapse on her inside, and while MacKenzie was on the bench, 5-foot-5 guard Kelsie Richards kept Bapst from second chances by grabbing five rebounds in the first half.

“We definitely worked on our guards rebounding the ball more,” Paradis said. “They actually do a really great job crashing the boards for us when we don’t have our big people in.”

Nokomis led 15-10 late in the second quarter, and with Bapst holding the ball for one shot, it seemed the worst outcome for the Crusaders would be a five-point deficit at the break. Instead, Lindsay Whitney stole the ball and fed Shaw for a fast-break layup, and the Warriors were up 17-10 at the half.

The Warriors were in complete control after that. Shaw actually scored her 20 points on only nine field goal attempts, as she was 7 of 9 from the floor and 6 of 8 at the line. She had 10 points in the third quarter, and Richards got the lead to double digits for the first time when she dropped in a three to make it 25-13. The Warriors pushed that to 33-17 by the end of the third quarter.

Meagan True was the only player who made more than one field goal for John Bapst. True finished with 12 points and nine rebounds, while the rest of the Crusaders combined for 10 points and nine rebounds.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243mdifilippo@centralmaine.comTwitter: @Matt_DiFilippo
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