SKOWHEGAN — Is it possible to quietly dominate a basketball game? That’s what Skowhegan junior Jaycie Christopher did in Monday’s 65-25 girls basketball win over Maine Central Institute.

Last season’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A Player of the Year as a sophomore, Christopher didn’t do anything particularly flashy in Monday’s victory. She finished with 28 points, seven assists, eight steals and seven rebounds in 26 efficient minutes on the court. There’s no “wow” moment to point to. From the start of the game until Christopher and the other RiverHawks starters left the game for good midway through the fourth quarter, Christopher was simply fundamentally sound for most of the game, making little play after play to help her team win.

Those little plays add up.

“We had Dexter Friday night, who has Peyton Grant, and to follow it up with Christopher is a challenge for anybody,” MCI head coach Levi Ladd said. “She’s a unique player, with how physical she is and the gifts she has. She’s everywhere. She’s involved in every play one way or the other.”

Christopher had a first quarter run in which she scored 12 of 13 Skowhegan points. Aside from that outburst, her scoring game was in the flow of the game. A coast-to-coast layup after a steal. A 15-foot pull-up jumper after defenders sagged a little to try to close the passing lanes Christopher had exploited so many times already.

“It’s always my focus to make the right play. So if that’s driving and the shot’s for me, great, but if the defense collapses then find the open person. I always want to make the right play,” Christopher said.

MCI started the game with sophomore Hannah Robinson defending Christopher. The Huskies also went to Danielle Dow and Ella Bernier for the job in the first half, rotating a few players into the difficult job of trying to deny Christopher the ball.

“Christopher’s unique because of her size. We tried to body her up with our most physical player (Robinson),” Ladd said. “All things considered, I actually think they did a really good job on her.”

Skowhegan’s Callaway LePage, left, goes up for a shot as MCI’s Natalie Sites defends during a game Monday at Skowhegan Area High School. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

Often, the beneficiary of a crisp Christopher bounce pass was sophomore Callaway LePage, who scored 18 points, most coming on easy layups.

“That’s the biggest thing with (Christopher). She’d rather give the ball up to someone else. Sometimes a little bit too much. She does realize to win we’re going to have to be able to spread the ball around,” Skowhegan coach Mike LeBlanc said. “She’s been like that since Day 1. There have been days we’ve had to get on her to shoot the ball.”

It helped that the other RiverHawks recognized that with the Huskies trying to defend Christopher tightly, they would get chances to score

“Especially today, (MCI) were throwing two or three kids at me in the fullcourt, so that’s when it’s my job as the point guard to find those guys. They ran the floor really well and did a good job reading space and finding that open space so I could hit them with the pass,” Christopher said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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