FAIRFIELD — If you checked your television listings for the latest episode of “The Hope and Sarah Show: Live form Folsom Gym,” you weren’t going to find it Tuesday night.

Role players stepped into the spotlight at center stage for the Bulldogs against Waterville, as Lawrence got key performances from all over its roster in a 48-33 win over the Purple Panthers in the semifinals of the central Maine Class A/B girls basketball tournament. The Bulldogs will face either Gardiner or Maranacook, who play the other semifinal on Wednesday, in the title game.

“The Hopes and the Sarahs, they’re doing their jobs,” Lawrence coach Greg Chesley said of his standouts Hope Bouchard and Sarah Poli. “But when we get those other people filling their roles well, that’s a key. We’ve really done that most of the year. We have a bunch of them sitting on the bench waiting to get in, too.

“Our girls are ready to go all the time. I give them a lot of credit.”

While the point guard Bouchard and senior post presence Poli typically draw all the attention for Lawrence, it was what the supporting cast did Tuesday that made the most difference. Poli hauled down a dozen rebounds and Bouchard scored a team-high 12 points, but those numbers hardly told the story.

Makenzie Nadeau scored 11 points, all of them in the third quarter as the Bulldogs turned an eight-point halftime lead into an easy breeze down the stretch, and Ali Higgins finished with 10 points. Elizabeth Crommett ended up with four points and four rebounds, but it was her work at the defensive end which drew praise.


“I think she did a great job guarding Thompson,” Chesley said. “She was right there all night.”

A sophomore who started the season with the junior varsity, Crommett was plunked into the starting lineup and tasked with defending Waterville standout Kali Thompson.

Thompson scored a game-high 21 points for the Purple Panthers as part of a double-double effort with 12 rebounds, but even still she was never quite allowed to turn the floor over to her teammates with Crommett breathing down her neck all night.

“I worked my butt off this year to really prove that I belonged on varsity and get in there,” Crommett said. “I’m proud of myself. If I don’t make a play, if I make a mistake, I just get back on defense and work as hard as I can.”

Crommett has come a long way from her first varsity game on the road at Mt. Blue earlier this season.

“I was really nervous. That was my first varsity game ever,” Crommett recalled. “Now that I’ve gone through the year, it’s like, ‘Wow.’ I know I can do it. I know Coach Chesley will get at me at times, but that’s what a coach does. He just wants what’s best for the team, to make the team better and to make me better.”


The Bulldogs led 22-14 at halftime after holding the visitors to just four points — on one field goal — in the second period.

Nadeau found her groove after the break, hitting a trio of 3-pointers in a span of 4:45, the last of which opened up Lawrence’s largest lead of the night at 39-20 with 39 seconds left in the third.

“I just had a positive mindset that, OK, my foot might be hurting and I might not be having a good couple of games, but I’ve just got to get that out of the way,” said Nadeau, whose first shot attempt of the night was a trey that lollygagged its way all around the rim and threatened to leak out before dropping. “That gave me a lot more confidence. I could then focus on the next play and keep progressing with some more threes.”

It was a significant contribution on a night where it was all about the “we” and nowhere about the “me” for the Bulldogs.

“We played like a team,” said Nadeau, who has been nursing an injury this year. “We found open players and we didn’t give up.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.