January 22

GIRLS BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: Rams close season with tough stretch

Run begins today against Oxford Hills

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Cony closes its regular season with four tough games, beginning with tonight’s contest against Oxford Hills in South Paris.

Kennebec Journal / MORNING SENTINEL TOP 10

1. McAuley

2. Portland

3. Edward Little

4. Thornton

5. Lawrence

6. Nokomis

7. South Portland

8. Oxford Hills

9. Cheverus

10. Presque Isle

WEEKLY HONOR ROLL

• Hall-Dale junior Nicole Pelletier scored 20 points in a 49-42 win against Monmouth.

• Erskine sophomore Mallory Chamberlain had 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists in a win over Mt. View.

• Cony senior Hayley Quirion scored 24 points, including seven 3-pointers, in a 58-54 win against Lewiston.

• Maranacook sophomore Catherine Sanborn had 16 points, nine steals and five assists in a win against Erskine.

• Maranacook junior Christine Miller had 20 points and 10 rebounds in a win against Leavitt and 23 points in a win over Erskine.

• Richmond sophomore Kelsea Anair had 17 points and 14 rebounds in a win against Vinalhaven.

• Monmouth senior Kylie Kemp had 14 points and 14 rebounds in a 43-39 win against Madison.

• Gardiner freshman Lauren Chadwick had 15 points and five assists in a win against Leavitt.

The Vikings rallied to beat the Rams, 36-32, three weeks ago in Augusta and present problems with their size and 2-3 zone defense.

“You have to be very patient against them and try and lure that zone out,” Cony coach Ted Rioux said.

The Vikings, who can put three 6-footers on the floor, recently knocked off Lawrence and can cause problems for the Rams on the defensive end, too. Cony is one of the smallest teams in the conference and lacks depth, which hurts its ability to press throughout the game.

“It’s a fine balance,” Rioux said.

The Rams (9-5) travel to Mt. Ararat on Tuesday and, although they handled the Eagles at home, this will be a tougher matchup in Topsham with the return from a concussion of 5-foot-10 senior Caitlin LaFountain.

“Since (she) has gotten back, they’ve been playing some good basketball,” Rioux said.

The Rams finish the regular season with a pair of home games against Skowhegan, led by 6-1 Morgan Buker, and Edward Little, the top-ranked team in Eastern Maine Class A.

• • •

Maranacook coach Jeannine Paradis and assistant Bill Belanger are scouting Class C teams in preparation for the tournament. The Black Bears, who are currently ranked second in Western Maine Class C, play in the Class B division of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference.

“I don’t get to see any of them play,” Paradis said. “There’s six teams we’re definitely looking at, maybe seven.”

Maranacook is 9-5 heading into Friday night’s game at Medomak and playing some of its best ball of the season, according to Paradis. A one-sided loss to Winslow a couple of weeks ago provided the motivation.

“We had to make some gut checks, making sure our goals were the same from player one to player 14,” Paradis said. “They know what it takes and know they have to work hard at it.”

Medomak Valley beat Maranacook, 46-35, in Readfield earlier this season and Paradis said it’s always a chess game when she faces the Panthers.

“Randy (Hooper) is a great coach,” she said. “He has a great basketball mind. He can throw anything at me.”

• • •

Kents Hill split back-to-back games against Old Orchard Beach last week, winning at home and losing in OOB. It was a tale of two teams, according to coach Luke Wamboldt.

“It was definitely the best all-around game we had played all year,” Wamboldt said of the victory. “The girls played awesome defense. The second time we played them was one of our worst games.”

A bright spot in the loss was the play of senior guard Sara Grenier, who scored 24 points despite being double-teamed most of the game.

“She’s been outstanding for us all year,” Wamboldt said. “She’s our team leader. It’s almost like having another coach on the floor.”

The Huskies are 5-3 heading into Friday’s game at home against Sacopee Valley. They’ve shown improvement of late after missing several days of practice due to a long holiday break and some bad weather.

“We just added a few new things this week,” Wamboldt said. “We throw a lot of different defenses at teams. That’s been a big strength for us.”

• • •

Erskine has struggled since moving to Class B this season, but the future looks bright for the Eagles. Both the junior varsity and freshman teams have winning records for the first time in recent memory. And all but two varsity players will return next season.

“We’re just not there yet,” coach Scott Corey said. “It’s going to take two or three kids or more who will dedicate themselves to developing skills.” Corey said lack of a consistent scoring threat has hurt the varsity this season.

“We don’t have that,” he said. “That makes it a whole lot easier.”

Corey said there are 32 girls in the program with more coming in from several middle schools next year.

“We’re not far away,” he said.

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