With baseball season approaching, it’s only fitting that one of today’s games is a classic matchup of power vs. speed. Eastern C champion Central will try to pound the ball inside all night long, while Western C winner Hall-Dale tries to beat you down the floor.

The Class C girls basketball final is at 7:05 tonight at the Augusta Civic Center, and while Hall-Dale and Central both enter the game with an 18-3 record, that’s about the only thing they have in common.

“I think if you sat down to draw up a team that is the opposite of us, you’d come up with something like Central,” Hall-Dale coach Brandon Terrill said.

Hall-Dale hit 18 3-pointers in three tournament games, and has a definite go-to player in senior Carylanne Wolfington, who is averaging 21.5 points per game. The Bulldogs didn’t score 50 points in any of the games in Augusta, but they clearly like to shoot quickly, and then pressure the other team into mistakes.

“I think they’re physical,” Central coach Diane Rollins said. “They love to shoot the ball. I think Wolfington needs to be controlled — if that can happen.”

Central, meanwhile, has a balanced offense. After the graduation of players like Bekah Campbell and Hannah Pray, the Red Devils stopped looking for their big scorers, and got more people involved.

Still, the focus is to get the ball inside to 6-foot freshman Brianna Skolfield and 5-11 Samantha Brownell. Kaylee Harvey, Max McHugh and Brianna Speed will all shoot the 3-pointer from time to time, but not with the frequency Hall-Dale shoots the long ball.

“We try to play more in control, more of a set-up offense, things like that,” Rollins said. “We’re a pretty quick team. We can usually get up the court pretty well and get set up.”

Hall-Dale has faced teams with two tall post players, but Terrill said the Bulldogs never really saw a team like this during their Mountain Valley Conference schedule.

“Boothbay had their size, and a similar kind of lineup, but they didn’t run the same kind of scheme,” Terrill said. “There’s not a whole lot of teams like them in the MVC. It’s hard to even make a comparison.”

Naturally, two keys for the Bulldogs will be playing their typically solid defense, and not getting overwhelmed on the boards. Allison Crockett, a 5-foot-10 sophomore, averages about eight rebounds per game, but Hall-Dale’s next two top rebounders are Wolfington and Wendy Goldman, each of whom stand 5-7.

“Crockett does a great job rebounding against anybody,” Terrill said. “But other than her, we might be at a height disadvantage. I think a key for us is that Wolfington and Goldman both rebound bigger than their heights. They both box out very well.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

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