February 21

CENTER COURT: Rangeley-Forest Hills a battle of size against speed

The Lakers hope to use height against the free-shooting Tigers in their quest for a championship.

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Saturday’s Western Maine Class D regional girls championship game pits Rangeley’s size against the speed and three-point shooting of Forest Hills.

In the teams’ lone regular-season meeting in Rangeley, speed won out as the Tigers prevailed 60-54.

“It was back and forth throughout the whole game,” Forest Hills coach Mike LeBlanc said.

In Thursday’s semifinal win against Pine Tree Academy, LeBlanc’s top-seeded Tigers (20-0) made a tournament record 11 3-pointers. For the season, they’ve converted 120.

“We feel pretty comfortable shooting them,” LeBlanc said. “We shoot them every day in practice.”

While the Tigers don’t have a player over 5-foot-7, the second-seeded Lakers (19-1) start 6-foot-2 sophomore Blayke Morin and 6-1 junior Taylor Esty. In Thursday’s semifinal win against Searsport, Esty scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Morin had 11 points and 19 rebounds.

“They have the twin towers but they have two guards that are capable, too,” said LeBlanc in reference to Tori Letarte and Seve Deery-DeRaps. “We’ve got to check them out. We can’t have any letdown.”

Rangeley coach Heidi Deery said those guards will need to knock down shots if the Tigers collapse on the big players inside.

“They doubled (in the first game) and they left somebody open and we didn’t take advantage of that,” she said.

Deery said rebounding and controlling the pace of the game will be the key for the Lakers. And they’ll need to get out on their shooters, led by senior Kori Coro, who hit five 3-pointers Thursday.

“They’re fast and every one of them’s a shooter,” Deery said.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638 ghawkins@centralmaine.com Twitter: @GaryHawkinsKJ
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