The Erskine Academy girls basketball team was still coming down Wednesday from its first win of the season, a 64-52 win against Brunswick on Tuesday night.
“They were still smiling ear to ear this afternoon when we went to practice,” Erskine coach Scott Corey said. “That was the most complete 32 minutes we’ve put together this year without question.”
The Eagles got an outstanding performance from 5-foot-10 senior Bridget Humphrey, who scored a career-high 29 points and hauled down 14 rebounds. But everyone contributed, Corey said. Sophomore Hannah Bridges scored 18 points while 5-4 sophomore Taylor Boucher grabbed 11 rebounds.
“What a great way to honor the seniors,” Corey said of the team’s last home game. “It was just a complete effort.”
Erskine has the smallest enrollment of any team in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference’s Class A division and has struggled the past few seasons. The Eagles will drop to Class B next year, but no one complained about the competition this year.
“The kids could have just simply quit and they didn’t,” Corey said.
Captains Alyssa Gartley and Grace Killian addressed the team at Wednesday’s practice. Killian doesn’t get much playing time, but her effort in practice and on the bench has inspired her teammates.
“Grace Killian is the epitome of a team player,” Corey said. “Every day you get the same effort. She’s just a solid individual. She was the first one to speak and said ‘I’ve had a great time.’ “
Erskine finishes its season tonight at Cony.
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Gardiner and Maranacook meet tonight in Readfield in the regular-season finale for both teams. Both are going to the Class B tournament, Gardiner in Eastern Maine and Maranacook in Western Maine.
“If we win, we will finish fourth,” Gardiner coach Mike Gray said. “If we lose, we’re going to finish fifth. We’ll have a prelim (game) either way. It’s just a matter of who we play.”
Both teams are coming off impressive wins against Leavitt. Maranacook (11-6) beat the Hornets in overtime Tuesday night. Sophomores Sarah Clough and Christine Miller had big games for the Black Bears along with freshman Catherine Sanborn and senior Mariah Vining. Leavitt played without injured senior Kristin Anderson, who leads the conference in scoring at 27 points a game.
Anderson was on hand when Gardiner downed the Hornets 57-51 on Saturday. She scored 26 points but injured her ankle as she fouled out with 20 seconds left to play. Junior Ally Day turned in a monster game for the Tigers with 17 points and 25 rebounds.
“It’s one of the best all-around games I’ve seen a girl play,” Gray said.
Day is just 5-foot-6 but both strong and quick.
“Part of it is just her instincts,” Gray said of her rebounding ability. “And part of it is just her physical strength. She rips them out of other kid’s hands.”
Kelly Macomber added 10 rebounds for the Tigers, who grabbed 36 defensive rebounds in all. The Tigers (13-4) have won five straight since losing by two points at Oceanside and Gray said they’re playing their best ball of the season. They defeated Maranacook 57-40 at home earlier this season but Gray expects a closer game tonight.
“This will be a good test right before the playoffs,” he said.
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The Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship games will be held at Cony High School on Saturday and Monday.
The Class B teams will play Saturday and the participants are determined by Heal points. The boys game will be played at 5 p.m., followed by the girls game at 7. As of today, Medomak Valley and Oceanside will play in the boys game while Nokomis and Oceanside will play in the girls game. The Medomak and Oceanside boys split a pair of games during the regular season while the Oceanside girls topped Nokomis in their lone meeting.
The Class A championship games will be played Monday and are determined by the top team in each of two divisions in the KVAC. The boys game at 5 will pit unbeaten Hampden against Edward Little. The teams didn’t play during the regular season. The 7 p.m. girls game has Edward Little against Bangor. Edward Little won both regular-season games.
All conference awards will be announced between games on each day.
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So many things would have to break Cony’s way tonight for the Rams to move up in the Eastern Maine Class A tournament standings, that coach Karen Magnusson is preparing her team for a prelim game on the road.
Cony finishes the regular season tonight at home against Erskine but underdogs would have to win a few other games for the Rams to move from ninth to eighth in the standings. By finishing ninth, they’ll have to play a prelim game at Brewer next week to determine the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Maine tournament.
“I’ve pretty much told everybody we’re finishing ninth and we’re traveling,” Magnusson said. “I want the girls to have that mindset.”
Brewer (9-8) beat Cony, 41-40, on Jan 14 in Brewer as the Rams rimmed out a shot to win it at the buzzer.
“I actually want to play them,” said Magnusson, who has a small team. “We have a better opportunity of matching up with them.”
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638