AUGUSTA — There will be many things on the minds of Monmouth players when they square off against Houlton for the Class C state championship Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Rebounding, defense, execution on offense will all be on the list. At or near the top will be how to contain Houlton senior Kolleen Bouchard.

“She’s probably the best player in the state,” Monmouth coach Scott Wing said.

The numbers back up his statement. Bouchard scored over 2,000 points in her career and this season averaged just under 30 a game. She was named Class C North tournament MVP last week after scoring 73 points in three games, including 27 in a 33-30 win over Dexter in the regional final.

Saturday’s game will be Bouchard’s fourth state game as a starter. She helped the Shiretowners win a Class C title in 2015 and a Class B championship in 2016. They lost last year in the Class B final before dropping back down to Class C this year.

“For the last four years, Kolleen has led us in scoring,” Houlton coach Shawn Graham said of his 6-foot point guard. “But she’s a great passer, very good court awareness. She uses her teammates well.”

Monmouth returns all but two players from last year’s state championship team and is the deeper of the two clubs, often using 10 players. Houlton’s limited depth was compromised with an injury to senior guard Kristen Graham, who tore her ACL in the regional final. She was one of the team’s top defenders and second leading rebounder behind Bouchard.

“That’s unfortunate,” Wing said. “When you get to this level, you want to be playing the best level of competition you can play. I’m a pro at it. I had five ACLs one season. It’s a horrible thing for kids to go through especially if they’re seniors. I feel for her.”

The Mustangs are balanced in every respect. Three players — Tia Day, Abbey Allen and Kaeti Butterfield — scored over 200 points this season while another five topped 100. Junior Destiny Clough has emerged as the top rebounder on a strong rebounding team, averaging just over 12 a game. She and Butterfield are both 5-10 while Hannah Anderson and Allen are also good off the boards.

Day, who led them to the title a year ago, averages 12 points and 7.5 assists a game, dishing out 16 in one game this season.

“She’s just a team player,” Wing said. “She’ll do whatever it takes to win a basketball game. If teams are concentrating on her, she’ll dish it.”

The emergence of Clough and Butterfield this season has allowed the Mustangs to get up and down the floor a little more quickly.

“It’s sped us up a little this year,” Wing said.

Graham’s greatest concern is getting into a running game with the Mustangs, although when the ball is in Bouchard’s hands, the Shiretowners are much stronger on the fastbreak.

“I think they’re a little quicker than us and a little deeper,” he said. “My biggest concern is our transition defense, but for most part we may get into a little bit more of a halfcourt set.”

The Mustangs call the Augusta Civic Center their home away from home since they play their Class C South tournament games there.

“We played in Bangor last year,” Clough said. “Augusta where it’s more local I think we’ll have way more support. That’s obviously great, too. We’re definitely more used to this court.”

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