AUGUSTA — Defensive pressure has always been the calling card of Rangeley coach Heidi Deery and her Lakers. Saturday’s win against Forest Hills being a case in point.

Rangeley took advantage of 15 turnovers in each the first and second period en route to a comfortable halftime lead and eventual 66-10 victory.

The win leaves Rangeley at 7-1 in Class D South girls basketball play while the Tiger falls to 3-2.

The Lakers certainly have the talent to contend for a state title, their first since 2016, but Deery believes they still have work to do.

“We need to be more consistent defensively and offensively,” she said. “So this is a great opportunity for us to work on execution.”

Rangeley led 25-7 at the half then blew the game open in the third quarter when it outscored the Tigers 22-1. Senior Brooke Egan scored 11 of her 16 points in the quarter but there were several contributors.

“It’s great,” Egan said. “When teams try and scout us you just can’t shut down one person. It’s a team effort for scoring.”

Junior Olivia Pye paced Rangeley with 17 points followed by Egan with 16, Emily Eastlack with 15, Winnie LaRochelle with nine and Lauren Eastlack with eight.

“We don’t really know where it’s going to come from on any given night,” Deery said.

Forest Hills played without point guard Mary Lee Brown which exacerbated its turnover problems but there was a psychological aspect in play as well.

“We broke their press a good portion of the time,” coach Sean Danforth said. “I think it’s just a matter of our girls are psyched out, it’s Rangeley. We look at them like it’s the top team every time.”

Egan opened the third period with a layup and 3-pointer, then hit three straight hoops midway through the quarter to push the lead to 40-7 and put the game out each. Turnovers remained a problem for the Tigers, who added another 15 in the period, several of them unforced.

“Our fundamentals are really not there,” Danforth said. “That’s all we’ve been doing. We haven’t really worked on any plays. We’re getting there, we’re developing.”

The Lakers lost by two points at Class C Buckfield earlier this year and have used that as a step in their development.

“We kind of got into playing their game and we can’t do that,” Deery said. “We never got our defense really going and that hurt us.”


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