RICHMOND — There’s not much difference between the Richmond and Rangeley girls basketball teams. Tuesday night, it came done to mental readiness.
Richmond was ready to play, and Rangeley wasn’t. The visiting Lakers never recovered from a poor first half in which they committed 21 turnovers and lost their first game of the season, 50-38.
Richmond (9-2) avenged an overtime loss at Rangeley (7-1) last month and set the stage for a showdown in the Western Maine Class D tournament.
“We’ve got five seniors starting and this is our house,” Richmond center Jamie Plummer said. “We’re not going let people come in here and walk all over us. It means a lot to us to win.”
Plummer scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, but it was Richmond’s full-court press, particularly in the first half, that set the tone for the game.
“It made a difference playing full man this time,” Richmond guard Noell Acord said.
The Bobcats led 15-7 at the end of the first quarter, one in which the Lakers turned the ball over 13 times. And they put together a 11-0 run early in the second quarter led by Plummer’s five points and a hoop each from Bri Snedeker, Acord and Alyssa Pearson.
“When someone’s trying to hurry you, you can say ‘I’m going to go faster than I really can,’ ” Rangeley coach Heidi Deery said. “Or ‘I’m going to catch the ball pivot and make a decision, not a reaction.’ We played reactive basketball . . . in that first half.”
The Bobcats led 31-13 at the half but were outscored 25-19 over the final two quarters. The Lakers drew to within 12 points (38-26) when Tori Letarte opened the fourth quarter with a putback, but they would get no closer.
“You’ve got to take your hat off to Jamie Plummer,” Deery said. “Every time we got it close, she got a rebound or we turned the ball over.”
The Bobcats drew a nice game from Alyssa Pearson who usually starts but came of the bench because she wasn’t feeling well. The 6-foot senior held her own against Rangeley’s big front line and finished with 10 points. Six-foot freshman Blayke Morin led the Lakers with 13 points while Letarte scored 11.
The game grew physical in the second half and Plummer was knocked around and twice thrown to the floor.
“All games get physical,” Plummer said. “It’s part of the game. It’s not worth fighting back. If they’re going to come at you let them.”
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638