Since upsetting unbeaten Dirigo a couple of weeks ago, Hall-Dale has gone 1-3. The Bulldogs (8-6) are looking to regain some of their momentum tonight in Winthrop and they’ll have to play well to knock off the Ramblers (11-3) who beat them in Farmingdale, 49-36, earlier this month.
“We’ve got to score the basketball when we break pressure,” Hall-Dale coach Chris Ranslow said. “The pressure will be coming.”
The Bulldogs are struggling to score, period. Junior center Brian Allen leads the team in scoring, but after him, no one’s been consistent. Ranslow hopes offensive rebounding specialist Wesley Lapointe can take some of the scoring pressure off Allen and his teammates.
“Wesley will be a key for us,” he said. “I think the game’s starting to come to him a little bit. I’ve seen some growth. Last year he just out-leaped people.”
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Richmond had won six in a row going into Thursday night’s game against Greenville. Included in that streak was an upset of previously unbeaten Forest Hills, no small feat for a team that plays several freshmen and has just one senior.
“The guys started playing together and kind of found their shots,” Richmond coach Jon Spear said. “Sean Bernier’s been playing really well and Matt Holt has stepped up and become quite the force for us.”
Bernier is the team’s lone senior and a catalyst at both ends of the floor for the Bobcats while Holt, a freshman, leads the team in scoring at about 14 points per game. Freshmen Brendan Emmons and Cody Tribbet have also been contributors this season along with sophomores Bailey Johansen, Mike Stewart and Tyler Soucy. Junior Cameron Emmons is the point guard.
“He’s our leader,” Spear said.
The Bobcats finish the season against teams with winning records and will need a big win or two to get into the top five in the Western Maine Class D standings and avoid a prelim game. The Bobcats are in sixth place.
“Our goal right now is we want to finish in the top five,” Spear said. “We want to avoid a prelim game, we want to go right to Augusta.”
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Cony is clinging to the ninth and final tournament spot in Eastern Maine Class A following Wednesday’s loss to Messalonskee, a point ahead of 10th place Lewiston. The Rams (5-9) host Oxford Hills tonight and need a win to maintain their slim lead. They lost to the Vikings 51-50 two weeks ago in South Paris.
“We had a great look on an 18-foot jump shot to win,” Cony coach T.J. Maines said.
The Rams will need to reign in 6-foot-5 sophomore Andrew Fleming, who Maines calls on the top three or four sophomores in the state. They held him to 12 points in the first meeting but he also grabbed 19 rebounds.
“We’ve got to do a great job on the glass, that’s the big thing,” Maines said.
The Rams play Mt. Ararat at home Tuesday then finish the regular season on the road at Skowhegan and Edward Little.
“We figured we have to win two out of three at home to get into the playoffs,” said Maines, including the Messalonskee game in that scenario. “Every game we play now is a playoff game.”
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Monmouth (9-4) had won five in a row heading into Thursday night’s game against Wiscasset.
The Mustangs had a 17-day layoff, due to poor weather and the holiday break and needed some practice time to get back into sync.
“It wasn’t until the second half of the Carrabec game that we really started playing,” Monmouth coach Lucas Turner said.
They were also waiting for the return of injured senior transfer Isiah Calder. Calder came back for a game but later returned to his former high school.
“We were always waiting for him to come back,” Turner said. “I think that was in the back of the players’ minds.”
Marcques Houston continues to be a force inside for the Mustangs and the defensive attention he’s drawn has helped free forward Kasey Smith. The team is also getting a little more outside shooting from Brett Wilson, Hunter Richardson and Joe Menice.
The Mustangs face a key game Monday night in Winthrop, a team that beat them by three earlier in the season.
“It’s a battle of styles,” Turner said. “It’s about beating their pressure. We want to get it over half-court and pound it inside.”
The teams are 2-2 over the past two seasons and 3-3 over the last three.
“It’s turned into a good rivalry,” Turner said.