Editor’s note: This is the latest installment of our series, “Remember When,” in which we revisit some of the memorable games, events, streaks and runs in high school spring sports we’ve covered over the last few decades.

During the 2010-2011 season, the Hall-Dale girls basketball team made program history, becoming the first team in school history since 1986 to capture a Class C championship.

The Bulldogs didn’t win the Gold Ball that season with just one great player riding a hot streak. Nor did the team win on luck. The Bulldogs worked, had chemistry and were prepared. And with those factors, Hall-Dale finished the year with a near-perfect 21-1 record, and some coveted hardware to take back to Farmingdale with a 54-38 win over Washington Academy in the title game.

Hall-Dale certainly had leaders. On offense, 6-foot-1 senior center Taylor Massey averaged 15.2 points per game, while junior guard Carylanne Wolfington averaged 13.2 points per game. The Bulldogs were a collective force defensively — they held opponents to under 42 points a game all season.

“We had all been playing together for so long,” junior guard Wendy Goldman said. “My class and the senior class, we knew each other so well, as players and as people, we all were aware that it was going to be a special season. It really felt like we had been training for this for so long, because we had been playing together since middle school, and since elementary school, for some of us.”

The run was not entirely expected.

“The year before, we had also been pretty successful, and we were a good team” Massey said. “We lost a couple of really good players that year. So I think, going into that 2011 season, we definitely knew that we still had a lot of good talent and that we would be good. Nobody really expected to win a state championship. I think it wasn’t until the season started and we saw all the rest of the competition — and how we lined up to them — that we started to realize that there could be real potential if we really worked for it. But going into the season, at the beginning, we knew we’d be good, but to what extent — and losing those players the previous year — I think it definitely was not expected.”

Massey had a particularly memorable effort in a Feb. 4 game against visiting Dirigo in which she scored a career-high 31 points in a 48-41 victory.

“Dirigo was always a rival for us,” Wolfington said. “And I just remember that being late in the season, too, and really just being a momentum (building) team win. There was always excitement that we carried into the next game or the next practice.”

“I think we all got along really well, and the team was cohesive,” Massey added. “When each person had their time to shine, I think the rest of the team was great at realizing it. I would have my nights where, yes, my threes were falling for me, the rest of the team would notice that and be willing to let me shoot the shot or whatever I wanted to. And then I’d have my off-nights, and Carylanne would have a great night. Kristen Moody was a great 3-point shooter, Kristina Buck (was too). I think the team was just very trusting of everybody who had the ball. I think we all had the confidence and enough knowledge to recognize when someone was having a good game.”

The players credited coach Brandon Terrill with keeping them prepared. Terrill often had in-depth scouting reports on opposing teams and players.

“His scouting reports were amazing,” Goldman said. “We would record all of our home games, so sometimes those scouting reports would come with us watching film from a previous time we played that team. We would have these sessions in his classroom — because he was an English teacher — we would have these sessions where he’s written these multiple-page scouting reports that, were not only incredibly informative, but they were also beautifully written, which I guess you expect, he’s an English teacher. They were so fun to read.”

The Bulldogs also cited a loss to Jay as a wake-up moment that helped fuel the deep playoff run.

“I think of our one loss,” junior guard Buck said. “We never wanted to lose again. I don’t know that, if we hadn’t lost, we wouldn’t have gone (to states), but I think it just really pushed us. We just didn’t want to lose again… (The team) is still pretty connected. When we get together, basketball always comes up, and that is one of the games we talk about.”

Hall-Dale girls basketball coach Brandon Terrill gives fans some high-fives after the Bullsogs won the 2011 Class C state championship at the Bangor Auditorium. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Hall-Dale rolled into and through the Western Class C playoffs, beating Georges Valley 59-30 in the quarterfinals. Its toughest test came in a 45-36 victory over Traip Academy in the regional semifinals.

Hall-Dale won its first regional title since 2006 with a 42-30 victory over Livermore Falls, with Massey scoring a game-high 17 points. Wolfington and Goldman each scored eight points, while Buck added five points.

Days later, the Bulldogs won the Class C state final in Bangor.

An early 10-0 run and stifling defense helped secure the Gold Ball.

The title was especially meaningful for Buck because her mother, Brenda, competed on Hall-Dale’s 1986 championship team.

“It was really awesome to say that my mom was the last one to do it,” Buck said. “Growing up, I remember watching her games (on tape), and even some of the other girls like Carylanne and Wendy, they also have watched that (1986 state game) multiple times. Then, in (2006), the girls were in the state game and unfortunately lost. We prepped ourselves (to watch) that game by watching my mom’s state championship. So, growing up, it was something that I also wanted to be able to do, because I’ve watched it so many times. My family was so pumped about it. My grandparents go to Florida every winter. They came home just for that game, because they also wanted to be a part of it.”

“It was so fun,” Wolfington added. “I have so many fond memories of, not only after we won, but the days leading up to it, too. The whole experience I look back on a lot and talk about with this group of girls still. A lot of us are still really close, and it’s always something I look back on positively. I think the Hall-Dale community — like many others in Maine — went above and beyond getting excited. The bus ride back, we always listened to “Don’t Stop Believing” (by the band Journey) after big wins. I remember the bus ride back was so fun, there was a celebration. It was great that, so many people were involved in our journey, from a young age all the way to this point. And I think it was just a great way to celebrate the win.”

 

Dave Dyer — 621-5610

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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