AUGUSTA — Blayke Morin finally got her Gold Ball.

A senior and five-year member of the Rangeley girls basketball team, Morin finished with 10 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks to help lead the Lakers to a 28-22 victory over Shead in the Class D championship Saturday afternoon at the Augusta Civic Center. Morin and the Lakers fell in the state title game last year against Washburn, 60-54, and came up short in the regional finals the three years prior.

“It means so much. I’ve been thinking about this since I was 10 years old in the gym,” Morin said. “From coming here every year to finally getting it means a lot to hold this Gold Ball for my community and my team.”

Saturday’s contest was a defensive struggle to say the least. It was the lowest scoring state championship game in the history of the girls tournament for all classes and lowest scoring title tilt since the Portland boys defeated John Bapst 27-19 in 1942. The two teams combined to shoot 25.3 percent from the floor, as Rangeley (21-1) shot 11 of 40 with 14 turnovers while Shead (15-7 Class D North) was 8 for 35 with 15 turnovers.

“We practice man-to-man every day in practice,” said Rangeley senior Maddison Egan, who had seven points. “That’s what we played all season so we were really comfortable help side, deny, getting in passing lanes and forcing them to make turnovers.”

It was Morin and Egan, the lone seniors on the team, who stepped up when the Lakers needed a play Saturday.


“Blayke and Maddy really held up their end for leadership and kept everybody composed,” Rangeley coach Heidi Deery said. “They knew there was nowhere else to look; that they had to look at themselves. We’ve been talking about that the whole year because at the beginning of the season, we kept looking for Taylor (Esty) and Seve (Deery-DeRaps) and it was painful.

“They just made the adjustment to realize that this was their time. Their heads didn’t swell. They didn’t become somebody else. They stayed true to themselves and true to our program believing that a team will get it done.”

Rangeley opened the game on a 6-0 run as Shead went scoreless through the first 5:27 — it went 0 of 4 from the field with three turnovers during that time. Morin scored six points in the opening quarter and had half of the Lakers’ points at intermission with Rangeley holding a 16-9 advantage.

Egan scored five of her team’s first seven points to start the second half to extend the lead to 23-13 but with 4:04 remaining in the third quarter the Lakers’ offense dried up following a jumper from Sydney Royce. Shead scored seven unanswered points and held Rangeley scoreless for 8:45 between the end of the third and start of the fourth quarters to cut the deficit to just three points.

Morin finally snapped the drought with a hoop plus the foul on an offensive rebound, though she missed the ensuing free throw, with 3:19 remaining in the fourth.

Holly Preston (10 points) answered with a pair of free throws with 2:20 to play to once again make it a one-possession game, but from there Rangeley started to take time off the clock. Shead was finally forced to foul Egan with 55.7 seconds to play and Deery took a timeout to allow the senior guard to settle herself.


“My mind was everywhere,” Egan said. “Heidi tells us every practice that free throws win games, so I knew I needed to block everything else out and focus on the free throws to put away the game.

“I was very nervous. Good thing we had that timeout to cool myself down and collect myself.”

Egan calmly knocked down both foul shots to make it a two-possession game and lock up the Lakers’ first state championship since 2004.

“We didn’t give them points. They earned them,” Morin said. “I wanted to win the state game knowing that we did it and we won it against them. We beat them.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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