Messalonskee is 9-4 and seventh in the Eastern A girls basketball Heal points. The standings are so tight after top-ranked Cony that No. 2 Edward Little is 10-3.

The Eagles don’t play Cony this season and saw Edward Little only once, losing by eight in Auburn. So while a spot in the playoffs seems secure, the Eagles could use a win that’s worth a lot of Heal points. They’ll get that chance in the final seven days of the season, when they play Skowhegan, Mt. Blue and Hampden.

Messalonskee’s stars are guard Mary Badeen and center Megan Pelletier, but one of the difference-makers Tuesday against Bangor was sophomore guard Kassi Michaud. With time winding down, Michaud hit a 3-pointer to force overtime. She finished with 22 points as the Eagles won by five.

Michaud came in to the game averaging about five points per night, and Messalonskee coach Keith Derosby had been hoping she would shoot more often.

“We saw glimpses of it in the summer,” Derosby said. “There were 12 other players and four coaches on the bench who knew she had that kind of game in her.”

Derosby said he would like to continue to see other players step up, but he likes where the Eagles are right now.

“I think we’re starting to come together as a team,” he said. “We’ve had our bumps, like any other team, but they seem to recover, and have a lot of pride in playing well.”

* * *

Mt. View picked up its first victory of the season Tuesday night, beating Lincoln 23-15. The Mustangs held Lincoln to six field goals.

“It was one of those grind-it-out games,” Mt. View coach Erica Gabbianelli said. “We were getting a lot of shots off, but they just weren’t falling for us. We stuck with it, and were able to come out with the win.”

The Mustangs had close games before, losing to Waterville, Maine Central Institute and Oak Hill by less than 10 points apiece. They also trailed Winslow by five at the half, before Jordyn Pomerleau scored 19 points in the third quarter to lead Winslow to a 56-27 win.

“We’ve been in games this year,” Gabbianelli said. “I don’t think they’ve ever given up. They’ve really kept their morale up. There’s been times when they’ve been frustrated, but they haven’t let their frustration get the best of them.”

Mt. View relied heavily on its seniors last season, so the Mustangs knew they would be rebuilding this winter.

There are some encouraging signs in the rebuilding process. Senior guard Delainey Kein is one of Mt. View’s most consistent players, but so is junior guard Janelle Thornley. Among the freshmen, post players Dinah Bilodeau and Brooke Tripp have stood out.

“Our younger kids are coming along,” Gabbianelli said. “They’re improving quite a bit, and are able to give us some quality minutes.”

* * *

Maine Central Institute is 2-11, but it’s a misleading record in some ways.

The Huskies are in almost every game because of their defense. MCI is 1-6 in January, but only one of those losses was by more than 13 points.

“We’re inconsistent at putting the ball in the basket,” MCI coach Jason Allen said. “We’re getting good shots. We just haven’t had the bounces go our way. I feel like the girls, they’ve played really hard all year. We just need to get lucky.”

As an example of the luck going against MCI, Allen pointed out how the Huskies’ toughest stretches in a game usually decide the outcome.

“It always seems there’s a stretch where we do everything possible we could do wrong, and the other team does everything possible they could do right.”

MCI has gone 3-15 the last two seasons, and will likely finish in the same range this season. Still, Allen said the team morale is upbeat.

“It’s been a nice year to be a part of,” he said. “We haven’t had any chemistry issues. They’ve just been a great group.”

The Huskies play Waterville tonight and Mt. View on Tuesday, then finish up with Eastern B powers Nokomis, Gardiner, and Camden Hills.

“I would like for us to at least pick up a couple of wins, just finish out the season playing hard, and maybe be competitive those last three games,” Allen said.

* * *

There are still several games left, but it’s possible that Saturday’s game between Waterville and Winslow will determine which one of those teams makes the playoffs. The top 13 teams make it in Eastern B.

Winslow is 12th at 7-6, while Waterville is 13th at 6-6.

Behind them is Washington, which is 3-9 but has lost a number of close games, including a five-point loss to 10-4 Mount Desert Island on the road. If Washington can pick up two or three more wins, that might be enough to sneak into the playoffs.

Of course, even the loser of Saturday’s game could make this issue moot by taking care of business on other nights.

For Waterville, the key games are Jan. 31 at home against Camden Hills and Feb. 3 at Maranacook. For Winslow, a Feb. 3 home game against Belfast in one the Black Raiders could definitely use.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]


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