AUGUSTA — Messalonskee senior McKenna Brodeur will have her hands full Wednesday afternoon defending and rebounding against Hampden Academy sophomore Bailey Donovan, who at 6-foot-3 is five inches taller. Fellow senior Lydia Dexter will also be asked to play defense and help on the boards.

They’re two of the lower profile players on a team loaded with two-way stars, among them Sophie Holmes, the leading scorer in the conference, 5-11 point guard Ally Turner and precocious freshman Gabrielle Wener. There are few weaknesses on the team, a reason the top-seeded Eagles led the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference this season in points scored and fewest points allowed.

There’s no quit in the Eagles, and Brodeur and Dexter are a big reason why.

“They’re the same in that they just want to win,” Messalonskee coach Keith Derosby said. “On most teams they’re the go-to people. They’re pretty unflappable. It just sets the tone.”

Both excel in other sports. Dexter is headed to the University of Maine this fall to play field hockey while Brodeur is one of the KVAC’s top soccer players and plans to attend UMaine-Farmington to play soccer and basketball. Dexter also played on the team’s state championship lacrosse team last spring.

Right now they’re focused on the task at hand.

“I definitely think these next few weeks are going to be some of the biggest of my career,” Dexter said. “We won a state championship in lacrosse and that was amazing.”

Brodeur has already defended against Donovan in a pair of games this season and there’s really no one way to guard a person that much taller than she is.

“We try to front her and have help side,” Brodeur said. “We like to try to pin her under the basket.”

Brodeur grew up playing guard and that has helped her when it comes to handling the ball and running the floor. She moved into the starting lineup halfway through her sophomore year and this season averages nine points and six rebounds a game.

“We like to get her touches,” Derosby said. “The kids around her understand how vital she is. One of the things she does best is how she carries the younger kids along with her. She’s humble.”

The Eagles try to get Brodeur the ball in the low post where she often kicks it back to one of the team’s many outside shooters..

“We try to move the ball inside out and once we get it going it flows,” she said.

Brodeur admits soccer is her first love. She scored 20 goals this season and has 65 for her career. She still plays once a week for Dutch Soccer in Camden and that will pick up once the basketball season is over.

A physically strong 5-6, Dexter often defends opposing scoring guards. And like Brodeur, she runs the floor very well.

“No workout is challenging enough for her,” Derosby said. “She’ll get on the floor and run through a wall. When she’s on the floor, she’ll give you 100 percent.”

Dexter grew up with two older brothers who excelled at Messalonskee in three sports and helped show her the ropes. Sam is currently in the Chicago White Sox minor league organization while Jake plays baseball at the University of Southern Maine. Just as important is her accessibility to the facilities at nearby Colby College, where her dad Tom is an assistant baseball and football coach.

“They’re definitely motivators,” she said of her brothers. “They all have great attitudes. Whenever we were just bored we all just went to Colby (to work out).”

Field hockey is Dexter’s sport and she’s stood out for the Maine Majestix as well as the Eagles. She’s played defense, midfield and offense, this year scoring 22 goals. As far as basketball gores, she’s aware of her role.

“I would say defense,” she said. “I try to keep positive and get the ball to our main scorers.”

Brodeur said the team is closely knit and hangs out together in school. Many of the players stop into Derosby’s office to talk basketball or other sports on a daily basis.

“I think it helps a lot,” she said. “And it helps that coach is in school.”

Both players have mature attitudes toward athletics. Dexter calls Brodeur the most positive person on the team while Brodeur said Dexter “is always the first one to high-five you if you do well.”

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