January 16, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: Cony searching for signature victory

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Cony is not the same team that went unbeaten until the state championship game last season. The Rams graduated five players, including three starters from that team, but they could use a little of its karma.

KENNEBEC JOURNAL/MORNING SENTINEL TOP 10

1. McAuley
2. Deering
3. Cheverus
4. Scarborough
5. Edward Little
6. South Portland
7. Mt. Ararat
8. Mt. Blue
9. Presque Isle
10. York

WEEKLY HONOR ROLL
• Richmond senior Jamie Plummer
scored 25 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in a win against Rangeley and 16 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Vinalhaven.
• Hall-Dale junior Allison Crockett had 15 rebounds and seven points in a win over Wiscasset.
• Oak Hill freshman Grace Sabine had 12 points and 10 rebounds in a win against Mountain Valley and 16 points and five steals in a win over St. Dom’s.
• Winthrop junior Cat Ouellette scored 15 points in a loss to Dirigo and 13 in a win against Telstar.
• Gardiner senior Kylee Granholm scored 17 points and added five steals in a win against Medomak Valley.
• Kents Hill junior Sara Grenier scored 25 points in a win against Sacopee Valley.

Last season, the Rams managed to pull out all its close games, while this year they've gone the other way. In just the last two weeks, Cony has dropped one-point decisions to Lawrence and Brewer and at 5-6 finds itself one spot out of a tournament berth in Eastern Maine Class A.

"I think it's frustrating for the girls," Cony coach Karen Magnusson said. "We've had a lot of those games that haven't gone our way. We're trying to stay positive."

In some of their games, including Brewer, the Rams have jumped out to a sizable lead and faded in the second half. Senior Josie Lee has been the team's most consistent scorer and rebounder, but the Rams have had five or six different players lead them in scoring in various games this season.

"The problem is we haven't done it all at the same time," Magnusson said.

The Rams host Brunswick on Friday night and have point-worthy games at home against Edward Little and Mt. Ararat in the next couple of weeks.

"One big game changes everything," Magnusson said. "We've just got to get it."

• • •

The Winthrop girls basketball team is making steady improvement despite some injuries and overall inexperience. The Ramblers won their first game since 2011 last week when they defeated Telstar and it couldn't have come at a better time.

"It's been a big boost in their confidence," Winthrop coach Lonney Steeves said. "We've played a lot better since that win."

The Ramblers showed dramatic improvement in facing Lisbon the second time around this week despite the absence of one of their leading scorers, senior Jessica Scott, who underwent knee surgery Monday. Scott injured her knee a month ago in a game against Mt. Abram, which Steeves said is the only time this season his projected lineup was on the floor at the same time.

Junior Cat Ouellette and her younger sister Lily have both missed games while junior guard Alyssa Arsenault is out with foot problems. The Ramblers likely wouldn't be a tournament team if everyone were healthy but they'd be more competitive. As it is, they're improving despite eight new players this season and three returning sophomores.

"The biggest hole in our offense is we lack any consistency shooting," Steeves said.

The attitude of both players and coach, however, has remained positive.

"The kids work hard every day to get a little bit better," Steeves said. "That's been our goal since the beginning of the year."

• • •

Monmouth is 7-3 heading into tonight's game against Winthrop and coach Scott Wing couldn't be more pleased. The Mustangs' losses have come against Boothbay, Madison and Spruce Mountain, teams with a combined record of 29-4. The Mustangs lost this week to Boothbay 51-46, after beating the Seahawks by a point in the season opener.

"The big thing (Monday) night was their size," Wing said.

The Seahawks have couple of six footers in their lineup while Monmouth's tallest player is 5-foot-6.

"The kids are just playing with absolute guts, pretty much doing more than I expected them to do," Wing said.

The Spruce Mountain game took its toll on the Mustangs as both Melissa Brassard and Daisi Poole suffered sprained ankles. Leading scorer Kylie Kemp, who is battling knee problems, played only about half of the game against Boothbay. Senior point Danielle Bumann is one of three players on the team who missed all of last season with an injury.

"(She's) been playing very well," Wing said. "After missing all last year it took her a little while to get back into the swing of things."

• • •

Gardiner is 7-3 going into tonight's home game against Waterville and coach Mike Gray would like to see a little more consistency from his veteran team.

"I feel like every now and then our focus lets up," Gray said. "The Medomak game Friday night (a 43-25 win) was one of the best efforts we've put together this season,"

Gray said the Tigers are at their best when guard Kylee Granholm and Taylor Banister are turning defense into offense

"Kylee played her best game of the year against Medomak the other night," he said.

Gray said junior Ally Day has been his most consistent player but his team will need everyone to contribute to win at once-beaten Oceanside on Saturday night. He's hoping shooting guard Kelsey Moody will return to the lineup for that one after injuring her ankle last week.

Gary Hawkins -- 621-5638

ghawkins@centralmaine.com

 

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