AUGUSTA — When Southern Aroostook freshman Kacy Daggett left the floor with her third foul, her team held a seven point lead over defending Class D state champion Vinalhaven.

The Vikings cut the lead to two entering the fourth quarter then Daggett returned. The 5-foot-10 Daggett announced her return with three straight offensive rebounds, the last going in to make it a four-point game. The Warriors never looked back as they outscored the Vikings 19-2 en route to a 54-37 victory and their first state title since 1995.

Daggett finished with a team-high 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, six in the fourth quarter, but her most important job was on the defensive end where she guarded Vinalhaven star Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes and held her to 17 points.

“Kacy has sometimes put us on her back,” Warriors coach Cliff Urquart said. “She’s done a really good job as a freshman just controlling the glass and playing interior defense.”

Vinalhaven (21-1) returned six seniors from last year’s championship team while Southern Aroostook (19-2) doesn’t have a senior on its roster and started a freshman and two sophomores. What the Warriors lacked in overall experience, they made up for in size and depth. They controlled the boards behind Daggett and Kassidy Mathers (11 points) and took advantage of 22 Vikings turnovers.

“They’re a good rebounding team to begin with,” Vinalhaven coach Sandy Nelson said. “The other thing is my girls don’t like contact.”

Davis-Oakes finished with 11 rebounds but the 5-10 center is essentially surrounded by four guards. The Warriors took advantage of those mismatches.

“That was one of our goals,” Mathers said. “We had four of our girls stand out, pass it around and just get it into that person and go to work.”

The Warriors led 18-16 at the first quarter break as six different players scored. They placed four players in double figures, including juniors Katelyn Slauenwhite (12) and Kylie Vining (10). Ashlyn Littlefield was second-high scorer fro the Vikings with eight points.

“My other people didn’t score,” Nelson said.

Vinalhaven trailed 27-24 at the half and fell behind by as many as nine (33-24) before Davis-Oakes closed the gap with a three-point play and a layup to make it 35-33 heading into the final eight minutes.

“I’d say we have more experience on them but they definitely have the size,” Davis-Oakes said. “Their school in general, they have a way bigger team than us, they had a lot bigger crowd, they had a band, they had cheerleaders. I love our crowd and how vocal they are but a little island cannot compare to the size of them.”

Depth also played a factor in the game. The Vikings played six players for most of the game while the Warriors rotated nine or 10, which led to a 19-4 edge in the fourth quarter.

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