Meaghan Lane Kolyszko will be following her older sister, Marcie, into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend. Just as she did in the early days of Cony High School’s girls basketball dynasty, Meaghan will retrace Marcie’s footsteps a year later.

And don’t think Marcie hasn’t reminded Meaghan about who got there first.

“It’s kind of the way it’s been my entire life,” Kolyszko said, feigning exasperation at her big sister. “It’s par for the course.”

Roy Lane’s daughters started going at each other in their Augusta driveway at a very young age, and by the time Meaghan was 10, he decided to put an end to those one-on-one games because they would always end in a fight.

Dad’s decision didn’t douse the sisters’ competitive drive, which is why they will both be back in Bangor again on Sunday for Meaghan’s induction.

Despite being a year younger and often deferring on the offensive end to her sister in the three years they played together, Meaghan never stood in Marcie’s shadow.

“She is the best defensive player this state has ever seen,” said her coach and current Cony athletic director Paul Vachon, also a member of the Hall of Fame. “For our program, she set the bar as far as defensive intensity.”

A 5-foot-4 guard, Kolyszko’s tenacious full-court defense had as much of a psychological as tactical effect on opponents, Vachon said.

“She literally made ball-handlers cry as they were coming up court, and even ask to be taken out,” he said.

While Kolyszko was an outstanding athlete who also earned statewide field hockey honors while leading the Rams to back-to-back state field hockey titles, it wasn’t her natural talent that set her apart on the court, Vachon said.

“It was her heart,” he said. “She just wouldn’t give up. She was quick, but I had quicker people. She just would not allow her person to dribble the ball up and score in the scoring area.”

“It was always my role to cover the best offensive player on the opposing team. I took great pride in it,” said Kolyszko, who now lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband Jimmy and their two children.

Practicing with and against her sister, a guard who was also inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame last year, helped her develop her skills and the never-give-up drive. Kolyszko also credits the coaching and support she received while growing up in Augusta playing at the YMCA, St. Mary’s School and ultimately, Cony, where she and her coach seemed to mesh immediately.

“We had a lot in common,” Kolyszko said. “We were both very gritty people and players.”

“She was just such a competitor,” Vachon said. “She never wanted to lose.”

The Rams almost never lost during her four years. They were 71-1 during the regular season and 84-3 overall, winning three consecutive Eastern Maine championships and Class A state championships in 1987 and 1989.

After winning the second title her junior year, Meaghan was left to try to carry on the winning tradition with a new starting five and taking on a new role as scorer.

“My sister, Becky Demas and Lisa Morang all graduated. I was the lone returning starter,” Kolyszko said.

She had already shown she was capable of putting the ball in the basket, having tied with Demas for a team-high 15 points in a 59-57 win over Portland in the 1989 title game. Kolyszko was confident she could make the transition.

“It was a new role for me, but I think I embraced it,” she said.

Did she ever. Kolyszko averaged 25 points and 7.3 assists per game while continuing to be a shutdown defender. She went on to set Class A tournament records for most 3-point field goals with 10, most field goals scored in a game with 15 and most points scored in one game with 38. Lawrence Hall-of-Famer Cindy Blodgett broke the points and field goal marks, but the 3-point record still stands.

Kolyszko is surprised that record still stands and was proud to set the 38-point mark against Skowhegan in the regional semifinal. But her memories of that tournament are more team-related than her personal accomplishments

“My main goal every game was to win, ” she said. “I definitely was on against Skowhegan. We lost to them during the regular season, so I was pumped up and ready for that game. Then we lost in the regional final (to Presque Isle, 50-46) after they hit something close to a half-court shot to send it to overtime. It still kind of boils my blood when I think about that game.”

Kolyszko went on to set more scoring records at the University of New Hampshire, where she was reunited in her last two years with Marcie, who had transferred from Boston University.

Vachon, who will also see his undefeated 1995 team honored as “Legends of the Hall” on Sunday, sometimes chuckles when he thinks about the Lane sisters playing together in the same backcourt.

“They were so similar. Many people thought they were twins,” he said. “Even to this day, they come up to me and ask ‘How are those twins that played for you doing?'”

Kolyszko, who attended Marcie’s induction last year, said she is thrilled and honored to follow Vachon and her sister into the Hall of Fame, even if someone mistakes the sisters for the first set of twins to be inducted.

“It’s a common misconception,” she said.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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