January 23, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: Cony in final playoff spot after win vs. EL

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

The schedule hasn't worked in Cony's favor this season. The Rams play in the southern division of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference and three of their opponents -- Brunswick, Lewiston and Erskine aren't worth many tournament points. They play each team in their division twice and the one northern team they play twice, Hampden Academy, was winless going into Wednesday night.

WEEKLY HONOR ROLL

• Monmouth senior Sierra Spencer scored 18 points in a win against St. Dominic and 21 in a win over Carrabec.
• Cony senior Josie Lee scored 28 points and hauled down 14 rebounds in a 60-59 win against Edward Little and had 18 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in a win over Brunswick.
• Erskine senior Bridget Humphrey had 19 points and 11 rebounds in a loss to Lewiston and 13 points and 10 rebounds in a loss to Messalonskee.
• Gardiner junior Ally Day had 15 points and 10 rebounds in a loss to Oceanside and eight points, eight rebounds and six assists in a win against Waterville.
• Oak Hill sophomore Sadie Goulet hit a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer in a 47-44 win against Hall-Dale.
• Hall-Dale junior Allison Crockett had 11 points, 16 rebounds and for blocked shots in a loss to Oak Hill.

KENNEBEC JOURNAL/MORNING SENTINEL TOP 10

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

That puts a premium on Friday night's game at Oxford Hills. The Rams (7-6) lost to the Vikings (9-4) last month in Augusta, 49-41.

"They're huge," said Magnusson, who doesn't have a player taller than 5-foot-8. "They've got all the parts. They have a great point guard, they've got shooters and they've got post players."

Magnusson said the Rams will try to force a quick tempo and get the Vikings into a running game if they can.

"If the game's in the 30s, that's in their favor," Magnusson said.

Cony also has a point-worthy game at home against Mt. Ararat on Feb. 1.

"All we need to do is get in and get to the (Augusta Civic Center)," Magnusson said. "It doesn't matter where we are."

• • •

Maranacook has dealt with injuries and illness the past three weeks but has still managed to win five of its last six heading into Friday's game at Morse in Bath.

"We're hopefully starting to get it to click," Maranacook coach Jeannine Paradis said. "We've done it with kids out and sick."

Senior Ashley Belanger returned to the lineup Saturday against Winslow after missing two weeks with a concussion but Jessie Smith, another senior starter, missed that game due to illness. The Black Bears are still awaiting the return of sophomore Sara Clough who has missed several games with a hyperextended knee.

"We're hoping she'll be able to play next week," Paradis said.

In their absence, senior Mariah Vining and sophomore Kristen Hall each played well in the win against Winslow.

The Black Bears are 8-5 and in seventh place in Western Maine Class B which would assure them of a tournament preliminary game at home if the playoffs started today.

"We're concentrating on these last five games," said Paradis, whose team finishes against with a game at Nokomis and two home contests against Leavitt and Gardiner, all tournament-bound teams.

No matter what the situation, Paradis has her team press its opponents.

"We're still young," she said. "When I take off the press, we relax and we don't get into the passing lanes as well. Even when we're tired we still tend to play aggressively."

• • •

Kents Hill was a hard-luck 2-6 going into Wednesday night's game at Rangeley and clinging to the 13th and final playoff spot in Western Maine Class C. Because of their extended Christmas break, the Huskies play only 14 games and are not in a conference.

Their schedule includes a mix of Class C and D teams, including three of the top teams in Class D -- Rangeley, Hyde and Richmond. Many of their losses have come down to the fourth quarter, a fact coach Jim Smucker attributes to inexperience.

"We're just basically learning the game, learning to compete and trust one another," Smucker said.

Junior Sara Grenier of Oakland leads the team in scoring at 17 points a game while sophomore Emma Curnin of Topsham averages nine points and 10 rebounds a game. Senior point guard Caroline Tortorella of Manchester is the team's leader while sophomore Marissa Tarrio of Augusta is the shooting guard. Sophomore Faith Forsythe, a transfer from Lawrence High School, is new to the game but picking it up quickly.

(Continued on page 2)

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