FARMINGDALE — If you know of one player on the Hall-Dale girls basketball team, it’s probably senior Carylanne Wolfington, the Bulldogs’ leading scorer, best and flashiest player, and obvious sparkplug.

Few people outside Hallowell and Farmingdale know about senior point guard Kristina Buck. You might call her Wolfington’s wingman, and she fits that profile. They’ve played together for years, and Buck does a lot of things that make it easier for Wolfington to shine.

“We’ve been playing together since kindergarten,” Wolfington said. “She’s always been a great passer, always been a smart player, setting up other people. When we’re breaking a press, I pass the ball, and I’m supposed to stay back if she ever needs me. She never really needs me. She just always breaks through the press.”

The Bulldogs will take on Eastern champion Central for the Class C girls basketball state championship at 7:05 p.m., Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Tempo will be a key, and that’s the kind of thing you can pretty much let Buck handle and forget about.

“It’s so valuable to have a point guard that you trust completely to handle the ball against pressure, to get us into our sets, and to make smart decisions about when to push the tempo and when to settle it down,” Hall-Dale coach Brandon Terrill said. “I’ve kind of been spoiled the last couple years, with Kristina running the point for us.”

“If I’m rushing and running around with my head cut off, then the team is going to be out of control, too,” Buck said. “When it gets like that, I have to slow it down and just get us back into our groove.”

Buck has the perfect personality for someone who doesn’t get a lot of notice for her efforts. Assistant coach Christen Lachapelle nicknamed her “Eeyore,” after the quiet Winnie-the-Pooh character. Whatever the ebbs and flows of the game, Buck rarely seems affected by them.

“I don’t really have to work at it, I guess,” Buck said. “I just don’t freak out about little things. I don’t really get stressed out about school. I just let things happen, and however they turn out is how they turn out. Things still bother me, but I just don’t let it take over my life.”

During the regular season, Buck was Hall-Dale’s third-leading scorer at 7.4 points per game. She’s also one of the team’s best 3-point shooters. She hit three in a quarterfinal win over St. Dominic.

“Early in the season, I think she was really focused on being the traditional point guard, where she sets up others, and looks to pass first and to pass primarily,” Terrill said. “As the season has gone on, we’ve worked on her being more aggressive herself — taking the ball to the basket, and knocking down some open shots when she gets those opportunities. Her scoring average has increased steadily as the season has gone along.”

At 5-foot-9, Buck can also create problems on defense. She won’t get a pile of steals, but she’ll make sure whoever she’s guarding has to work to score. Her defense on Kathryn Ventrella was a key when Hall-Dale beat Spruce Mountain in the regular season.

“She’s tremendous defensively,” Terrill said. “She usually gets the first or the second toughest defensive assignment. She has long arms that are difficult to shoot over. I feel very confident matching her up against most anyone on the perimeter.”

So if you’re watching Wolfington on Saturday, make a point to watch Buck as well. Or don’t. Either way, she’s not the type of person to get worked up over these things.

“She really tries to portray what we talk about in our program all the time: Staying calm, don’t get rattled, win the next play,” Terrill said. “It’s a good feeling as a coach, knowing that your point guard is that steady all the time.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

 

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