January 30, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: Cony ready for another 'big' test

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Cony faces one of the taller teams on its schedule when it hosts Mt. Ararat on Friday night. The Rams, who don’t start a player taller than 5-foot-8, have been up and down against bigger teams.



1. McAuley
2. Deering
3. Cheverus
4. Scarborough
5. Edward Little
6. Presque Isle
7. Bangor
8. Mt. Ararat
9. Mt. Blue
10. Lake Region


• Cony senior Josie Lee had 20 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in a win against Lewiston and 12 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in a win against Oxford Hills.
• Maranacook sophomore Christine Miller scored 21 points in a win over Medomak Valley.
• Gardiner junior Ally Day scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a win against Belfast.
• Monmouth junior Kylie Kemp scored 18 points in a win against Wiscasset and 16 in a win over Mt. Abram.
• Kents Hill junior Sara Grenier scored 20 points in a loss against Rangeley.
• Richmond senior Jamie Plummer scored 20 points in a win over Valley.
• Hall-Dale senior Natasha Brown scored 18 points in a win against Lisbon.

They struggled against Bangor, losing by 18 points, their worst loss of the season. But they got past another tall team in Oxford Hills last Friday in South Paris to cement a spot in the Eastern Maine Class A tournament standings.

“Offensively we played very well,” said Cony coach Karen Magnusson, whose team is 9-6. “That got them a little rattled out of what they normally do.”

The Vikings made a run at the Rams in the second half, but never got the lead in a 46-43 loss. Cony lost 44-41 to Mt. Ararat earlier this season in Topsham.

“Their game is all about their post players,” said Magnusson, citing Mallory Nelson. “Their guards are big, too. Everybody’s big and they all post up.”

The Rams will need a group rebounding effort, although they have the leading rebounder in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference in senior Josie Lee who averages 10.4 a game. Lee may be even smaller than her listed height of 5-8 and weighs no more than 120 pounds.

“She’s gets beat up a lot, but she keeps going at it,” Magnusson said. She doesn’t look big, but she’s got to be stronger than most kids in our league.”

Lee fills all the stat columns, averaging 15.6 points a game and 5.2 asissts. In Tuesday’s win against Lewiston, she had 20 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.

“She’s playing like a senior,” Magnusson said. “It’s unreal. She wants to win and she doesn’t care how we win. She doesn’t care if she scores.”

Nelson averages over 17.6 points and 7.3 rebounds a game for Mt. Ararat (12-3) while forward Caitlin LaFountain averages 14.3 points and 8.6 rebounds. The Eagles also have an excellent 3-point shooter in Kristi Willey.

The Rams not only lack height but also depth. Magnusson usually plays just seven a game. Three-point shooting plays a big part in their offense with Emily and Hayley Quirion and Alyssah Dennett, all capable of hitting from long range. Junior Bayleigh Logan has also come on strong and gives the Rams an inside presence on offense.

• • •

Gardiner (10-4) will try to avenge its worst loss of the season when it hosts Leavitt at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Tigers gave up 34 points to guard Kristen Anderson in their 71-44 loss in Turner in December.

The senior, who will play at the University of New Hampshire next year, leads KVAC B scorers at 27 points a game.

“The last time some of them were deep,” Gardiner coach Mike Gray said of Anderson’s shots. “If she’s hitting those shots, there’s not a lot you can do. It’s limiting what the other kids do.”

Anderson has returned to the lineup after missing several games with a sprained ankle. While she was out, Leavitt (12-2) suffered both of its losses.

“Her getting hurt helped them in the long run,” Gray said.

Gray said his team is playing its best basketball of the season right now.

“Our defense is getting better,” he said. “The biggest thing is our transition. We’re running the floor better than we have been.”

Kelly Macomber and Ally Day are rebounding well, which allows the Tigers to score in transition and everyone’s getting into the mix.

“We’ve been getting on some of the guards, Kelsey Moody and Liz Kelley, especially, to run the floor,” Gray said.

• • •

Richmond is 12-2 going into tonight’s game against Greater Portland Christian. The Bobcats will have a chance to avenge one of their losses when they host Class C Old Orchard Beach on Tuesday. They’ve already avenged the other, beating Rangeley earlier this month.

(Continued on page 2)

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