Forest Hills opponents have more than one scorer to focus on this season. Senior Linda Riley came into the season as the focal point of opposing defenses, but junior Caitlin Logston has emerged to give the Tigers a potent 1-2 punch.

Logston recently scored 42 points against Temple to break a single game scoring record of 40 points held by Barbara Lumbert, a 1983 graduate of the Jackman school. First-year coach Jill Demanski said Logston needed to became a little less unselfish when it came to scoring.

“She’s a very unselfish player,” Demanski said. “We had to tell her ‘we need you to score.'”

Logston, who is 5-foot-8, scores most of her points around the basket. Demanski said both she and Riley, who is also 5-8, have been working on their ball handling skills throughout the summer to improve their offensive games. Although Logston is primarily a post player, she has three-point range and scored a few hoops from behind the arc.

Her 42-point performance followed a pair of close losses to Vinalhaven to open the season. The Tigers have since won three straight.

“It kind of lit that fire for us,” Demanski said.

The Tigers, who are in the newly formed Class D division this year, have just eight players on their roster, including six who play regularly. There are just over 50 students at the high school level in the school.

“We’ve been working really hard on conditioning,” Demanski said.

The new coach said former players sometimes help out in practice if necessary and even a parent now and then. Demanski, a point guard on two state championship teams in high school, and a player for Division I Longwood University outside of Richmond, Virginia, is more than capable of participating as well. “I’m really excited about it,” she said.

• • •

Mt Blue is off to a 1-3 start, but the Cougars remain one of those teams no one wants to play. They like to run, press and play strong man-to-man defense under veteran coach Gavin Kane.

The Cougars dropped a one-point decision to Nokomis on opening night, later lost in overtime to Hampden and Tuesday lost to defending state champion Lawrence, 55-40.

Kane, who has an impressive coaching resume that extends from six state championship teams at Dirigo, to stints at the University of Maine to Spruce Mountain, returned last year to Mt. Blue where he played his high school ball and his daughters Caitlin and Chelsea are team members. He’s been able to build on what developed into a playoff team last year at Mt. Blue.

“In the preseason I felt we had made some significant progress, particularly what we were doing on the defensive side of the ball,” Kane said. “Our nemesis is we haven’t been able to score.”

Caitlin Kane and Eryn Doiron have been double figure scorers for the Cougars but when they go cold, no one has picked up the slack. Kane liked the way they played defense against Lawrence but the offense hit a second half drought that cost them any shot at the game. They held all-state center Nia Irving to 15 points but her teammates, led by Domi Lewis, helped fill the void.

“I really was pleased with how hard our kids made (Irving) work,” Kane said.

Kane coached the Dirigo girls for 12 years, reaching the state final 11 times. He also coached the Dirigo girls and boys for two years at the same time and the Dirigo boys a total of four years. He spent three years as an assistant to the UMaine women’s team before coaching three years at Spruce Mountain. One thing he had never done, though, is coach his own daughters at any level.

“I always left that to somebody else,” he said. “It’s definitely had its benefits. It’s kept our family together instead of me off coaching somewhere else.”

Kane admits he may be a little harder on his own kids, especially his oldest daughter.

“I think she expected that would be the case,” he said. “Hopefully they listen to the content and not the tone.”

• • •

Gardiner coach Mike Gray is still trying to get a handle on his team and the competition. The Tigers, who were idle Tuesday, are 2-1 entering Friday night’s Classes A North contest at Brewer. Between easy wins at home against Medomak Valley and Cony, they lost at Mt. Blue.

“I don’t know that we know anything yet about us or the league,” Gray said. “The last couple of games we’ve started all sophomores and juniors.”

There’s certainly some experience in the lineup despite its relative youth. Juniors Lauren Chadwick and Mary Toman return as starters from a team that made a run to the regional final a year ago and so far have been key performers.

“Teams have been keying on (them),” Gray said. “They’ve been trying to take those two away from us.”

The Tigers have depth and athleticism, if not a lot of size, and have been trying to force the pace in games to take advantage of their strengths. They lost that battle against Mt. Blue but were able to overwhelm Medomak and Cony.

The game against Cony was the first regular season meeting between the rivals since 2007 when then, as now, they were in the same class. The Rams have long dominated the rivalry so despite the hiatus the win held significance.

“It means something different than it would six years ago,” Gray said. “At the same time the girls were excited.”

• • •

First-year Hall-Dale coach Jarod Richmond is building on what he learned as an assistant for two years under former coach Brandon Terrill.

“We’re doing some of the same stuff but we’re trying to establish an identity of our own,” Richmond said. “We want to be known as a good aggressive defensive team.”

The Bulldogs are 2-3 following Monday’s loss to Wiscasset and heading into Friday night’s game at unbeaten Boothbay.

“We’re getting better,” Richmond said. “We need to start putting it together.”

The Bulldogs have some good ingredients. Senior twins Dani and Thea Sweet are defensive specialists and both have contributed to the scoring this season. Kayla Johnson and Sydney Perry, who missed the first two games of the season, also return and Richmond is excited about the way senior Haley Houdlette, who didn’t play last season, has emerged.

“She’s stepped up and taken on a leadership role,” he said.

Still, there needs to be more consistent contributions from both the starters and the bench.

“We’re working really hard to develop a sense of team,” Richmond said. “We’ve never not been in a game. Right now we’re trying to figure out who exactly we are.”


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