BANGOR — Houlton’s offensive balance ultimately tipped the scales in its favor in the Class C state championship.

The Shiretowners spread the wealth in their 59-51 win over Maranacook. Five players scored eight points or more. Virtually all of them could be credited with making a big, momentum-changing shot.

Freshman Kolleen Bouchard led them with 18 points despite experiencing foul trouble much of the game. Junior Katie Condon and sophomore Rylee Warman had 10 points apiece. Junior Natalie Hill and freshman Aspen Flewelling, coming off the bench, added eight points each.

Houlton coach Shawn Graham expects nothing less than a balanced budget of points in his offense.

“I think sometimes teams key a little too hard on Kolleen Bouchard,” Graham said. “We’ve got Hill and Condon, who averaged double-figures for us last year and again this year. And then Rylee Warman is about eight points a game, so that is key.”

With that said, Graham admitted it was a bit risky when he sat Bouchard, the team’s floor general, for a long stretch after she drew her third foul in the third quarter.

“I was kind of rolling the dice a little bit, but as long as we could maintain a lead, I was going to go with it,” he said.

Flewelling played a big part in letting him do that, breaking out for eight straight points as soon as Bouchard sat down.

“She’s one of those girls, she’s got nerves of steel,” Graham said.

Maranacook senior Christine Miller showed how cool she could be, too, scoring a game-high 31 points, including a Class C final record five 3-pointers. That production came despite drawing double and triple-teams from the Shiretowners and battling foul troubles of her own.

But the Black Bears’ own offensive balance, which had been one of the keys to winning their first regional title in school history, was lacking Saturday. Catherine Sanborn had 10 points in a fine all-around game. But a combination of factors, including riding Miller’s hot hand, kept their scoring sheet out of balance.

“In big games, (Miller) is going to come up big for us,” Maranacook coach Jeannine Paradis. “Sarah (Clough) was in foul trouble, as well. Shots just weren’t falling for a lot of our other kids that generally do score.”

“I wanted us to penetrate to the basket a little bit more,” she added. “We did, but then we wouldn’t. It’s just trying to find that balance.”


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