AUGUSTA — It’s been a while since the Cony High School girls basketball team played at the Augusta Civic Center and some of that rust showed for the better part of three quarters Friday as the Rams squared off against Hampden in a regular-season game at the Capital City Hoop Classic.
Due in part to their lack of size, the Rams play pressure defense and shoot a lot of 3-pointers. The defense was there Friday — Cony forced 16 turnovers in the first half alone — but the 3s just weren’t falling. When Hayley Quirion hit a pair early in the fourth quarter, Cony got a little breathing room and pulled away for a 48-30 win.
“I just haven’t been on lately,” said Quirion, who finished with three 3s and 15 points.
Hayley’s sister Emily finished with a game-high 18 points although she didn’t hit a 3-pointer until there was less than two minutes in the game. The Rams (4-2) didn’t hit a 3 of any kind until Alyssah Dennett drained a shot from the left side with 1 minute, 20 seconds left in the third quarter. Excuses were tough to come by.
“It’s kind of like our home court,” Emily Quirion said. “We’ve played on it enough times, we should be used to it.”
Cony thrived on its full-court pressure in the first half, leading 13-6 after one quarter and 22-10 at the half. The Quirion sisters accounted for 14 of those points, all on layups, while Dennett chipped in with a pair of hoops, too. They took more 3s in the third quarter, making just one, and Hampden (1-1) got back into the game, cutting the lead to 25-21 on a jumper and 3-pointer from Erica Meehan.
“I kind of figured that might happen, coming in here for the first time in a while. ” Cony coach Ted Rioux said of the cold shooting from behind the arc. “But we came up big in the fourth quarter when we had to. I told them to keep shooting because they can shoot.”
The Rams pulled away to a 10-point lead (36-26) after Hayley Quirion nailed back-to-back 3s from the right corner early in the fourth period. To that point the Broncos had done a good job contesting perimeter shots.
“That was it, to take away Emily and Hayley,” Hampden coach Tim Scott said. “We did a fairly good job until late in the third and fourth, then Hayley got two of them that really separated the lead.”
Emily Quirion hit a nifty reverse layup to push the lead to 39-26 then the Rams spread the floor looking for layups or fouls, or as it turns out, 3-pointers, since both Quirion sisters hit one in the final two minutes.
Erin Murphy led the Broncos with nine points while Meehan added seven. Abby Wormell paced Cony rebounders with seven. The Rams resume their regular-season schedule at home Thursday against Oxford Hills.
Gary Hawkins — email@example.com