Jamie Plummer wasn’t sure what Rangeley was going to throw at her Saturday in the Western D championship game.
“We weren’t sure if they were come out doubling or stick a man on me,” the Richmond senior forward said. “I was supposed to move and get my defender off. Even if that didn’t work we managed to get our shots off.”
The Bobcats did, but it wasn’t easy. They struggled for stretches in the first half of a 48-36 victory, with Plummer drawing double, even triple teams.”
Of all the Western D teams in the field, Rangeley had the size to match up with the Bobcats. The Lakers often had the 6-foot Taylor Esty and the 6-foot-1 Blayke Morin converging on Plummer on the paint. It worked early. Plummer managed just four points in the first half.
“We played pretty good defense on her,” Esty said. “She wasn’t very … Plummer in the first half.”
She certainly was in the second.
Plummer scored 11 points, all in the fourth quarter, to help blow the game open.
“A couple times I was open and I don’t know if it was miscommunication on their part,” she said.
Added Esty: “She caught on to what we were trying to do. She got it going a little bit.”
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Richmond and Rangeley struggled from the field Saturday.
The Lakers made just one field goal in the first quarter and the Bobcats matched that total in the second.
“We could’ve had a little bit better execution,” Rangeley coach Heidi Deery said. “But you have to give the credit to Richmond. They played great defensively.”
Rangeley made just nine field goals in the game,
“We couldn’t get anything going,” Deery said. “We tried to do a couple things offensively. We tried to spread the floor a little bit to see if we could get something going backdoor. Rebounding, we held our own. That didn’t kill us. The offensive looks, only getting one opportunity that did kill us.”
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Forest Hills returns a stronger team to next Saturday’s state championship game than the one that lost 83-45 to Jonesport-Beals last March.
“Defensively, we’ve given it all this year,” senior Evan Worster said. “We’ve worked every day in practice, mostly on defense.”
The offense also relies less on Worster, who has scored more than 1,500 points in his career.
“Everyone else has developed and anyone can score 20,” he said.
The Tigers won’t have to face Jonesport-Beals and Division I bound Garet Beal this year. The top-seeded and unbeaten Royals were upset in the quarterfinals by Easton and No. 3 Central Aroostook eventually won the Eastern Maine title.
“I think Jonesport was in our head, too, after that experience last year and taking it on the chin,” Forest Hills coach Anthony Amero said. “I don’t think we were quite ready for prime time last year.”
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Worster was prepared for a defense geared to stop him Saturday in the Western Class D title game against Valley. In the last meeting against the Cavaliers he scored 26 points, but only scored four Saturday.
“He’s up for Mr. Basketball and he’s scored over 1,500 points in his career,” Amero said. “When we had our team meeting yesterday, they’re going to be keying on me I know. He said I’ll set people up, I’ll decoy, I’ll set screens.
“Evan just cares about winning, He’s such an unselfish kid. I’m prejudiced, but that’s why I think he should be Mr. Basketball because he’s guided a school of 50 kids two years in a year to two Western Maine titles.”
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No one in the Western Maine Class D tournament attacked the glass harder than Forest Hills senior Derick Ouellette. He scored 60 points in three games and was named the tournament’s outstanding player. Just about all those points were within 10 feet of the basket and many the result of offensive rebounds. He finished with 10 rebounds, seven in the fourth quarter.
“I remember last year in the Hyde game when he had every rebound for a stretch of about two minutes to close it out,” Amero said. “He’s not that big but that’s what determination in life will do for you.”
Ouellette doesn’t concern himself so much with position for rebounds.
“I just fight for the ball,” Ouellette said. “I give it all, jump as high as I can grab it with two hands and just rip it down.”