Richmond’s Jamie Plummer went over 1,000 points for her career earlier this season, one in which she averaged 21 points a game. The 6-foot center had been held to single digit scoring just three times in her career, the lowest a four-point effort in Thursday’s semifinal win against Hyde School of Bath.
Hyde coach Richard Polgar built his game plan around stopping Plummer and played a diamond-and-one defense against her. Plummer forced some shots in the first half, even throwing a couple of air balls, but in the second half she became a defender and passer.
She opened the second half with a nice pass to Noell Acord for a layup and added an assist later in the period to Alyssa Pearson. Plummer grabbed eight of her 12 rebounds in the second half and blocked five shots.
“I didn’t get frustrated,” she said of the defense. “I think we expected it, so I knew everyone would step up. And I have other aspects I can bring to the game other than just scoring.”
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With many enrollments well under 100 students, most Class D schools in the Western Maine tournament don’t have a band.
“Just Greenville and us,” Richmond band director Jon Spear said. “I think in the West that’s about it.”
When Spear took over five years ago there were 11 members in the band. Today there are about 40 and that includes middle school students. The band was at full force for the Richmond girls game against Hyde on Thursday morning, and it will be there again Saturday for the regional championship.
There was no band in the quarterfinal round since Spear coaches the boys team and it was playing. The band also has a couple of members of the boys basketball team, Randy Moody on bass guitar and Joey McClusky on trombone. Saxophone is Spear’s main instrument, but he added “I’ll play anything.”
The Bobcats mascot, senior Julian Leavitt, also made its first appearance. Encouraged by the lively Hyde student section at halftime, the Bobcat mascot had a “dance-off” with the Hyde Phoenix mascot while the band played Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” The contest was caught on camera by Maine Public Broadcasting.
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It took a half, but Rangeley sophomore guard Seve Deery-DeRaps finally got her game and shot going in the third quarter of a Western D semifinal game against Forest Hills.
Once she did, the complexion of the game — a Rangeley 59-43 victory — changed dramatically.
Deery-DeRaps scored 14 of her 18 points in the third quarter alone.
She sank three 3-pointers, made two layups and polished off a dominant eight-minute stretch with a made free throw.
“It was the flow of the offense,” she said. “I was open so I took them. It felt good.”
The run stretched a 23-21 halftime lead to 48-35 at the end of the third quarter. Deery-DeRaps made her 3-pointers in the opening two and half minutes of the quarter.
Rangeley coach Heidi Deery said she wanted her team to run their offense, but then backed off when her daughter caught fire.
“Sometimes it’s how it goes,” she said. “You have to decide will you let that happen? Had she missed those shots would I have called a timeout? I don’t know. Sometimes a kid gets in a zone and you have to let it go.”
The outside shooting also forced a defensive change that Forest Hills coach Mike LeBlanc was reluctant to make. The Tigers played primarily a 2-3 zone but switched to a man defense after Deery-DeRaps got hot.
“We wanted to go with the zone and not man,” he said. “But (Deery-DeRaps) started to go off and I had to do something. It didn’t work.”