Seven times this season, Lawrence allowed a team 37 or fewer points in a game. Brunswick got that in one half on Wednesday.

Lawrence came from behind in the second half to win that one, but the key against Bangor is no secret: One good half of defense isn’t going to get it done.

“This has to be a total defensive effort,” Lawrence coach John Donato said.

The matchup a lot of girls basketball fans have been anticipating takes place at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, as No. 1 Bangor (19-1) faces No. 2 Lawrence (19-1) for the Eastern A title at the Augusta Civic Center. The teams split two regular season meetings, so each is otherwise undefeated in 18 games.

With Mary Butler, Cordelia Stewart, and Katie Butler, Bangor can throw as much size at you as just about anyone. Donato plans on respecting the Rams’ other offensive weapons as well.

“We’ve got to contain their outside shooting,” he said. “Mary Butler, and (Sarah) Bragg, and Emily Gilmore are all good outside shooters.”

The first meeting between the powers came Jan. 3 in Fairfield. Lawrence won 59-53 as Nia Irving came up with 23 points and 17 rebounds, and Abby Weigang, Paige Belanger, and Dominique Lewis all made huge contributions.

Bangor won the rematch at home 54-41 on Feb. 3. Stewart scored all 15 of her points in the second half, Bragg added 11, and Lawrence shot 24 percent as a team.

“That was their revenge factor game,” Donato said. “We were undefeated. We had beaten them before. One of their girls had a birthday. They played with a lot more emotion than we did. They made a run at the beginning of the third quarter, and we played catch-up the rest of the night.”

Of course, with a trip to the state finals on the line, Donato isn’t expecting another big disparity in emotion.

“I think we’re both going to be sky-high,” he said. “You don’t go for a state championship by just playing with half an effort. This is going to be exciting for both of us.”

While a few Bangor players won the Eastern A title, that was two years ago, and Joe Johnson is a first-year coach with the Rams. On the other hand, none of the Lawrence players have reached this point in basketball, but Donato has a long list of big games like this in his coaching career.

“It’s really about how well we can execute on the big stage,” Donato said.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo


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