Hall-Dale players hug after they beat Old Orchard Beach 48-42 in a Class C South girls basketball semifinal Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — Nearly a year ago, the Hall-Dale girls basketball team celebrated winning the Class C/D title of the central Maine basketball tournament, in a nearly empty Penny Gym in Farmingdale.

On Saturday, the No. 1 Bulldogs will play No. 3 North Yarmouth for the Class C South title. The building — the Augusta Civic Center — will be bigger, and so will the crowd.

But it’s a moment Hall-Dale is ready for.

The Bulldogs (20-0) don’t shy from big moments. In fact, they’ve been groomed for them. There was, of course, last season’s run in the central Maine tournament under former head coach Jarod Richmond, punctuated with a 53-44 win over Carrabec for the C/D championship.

That C/D title game experience may have helped Hall-Dale in its 48-42 win over Old Orchard Beach in the semifinal round on Thursday. The Seagulls rallied from a 16-point deficit to come within a score of tying up the game, but Hall-Dale did just enough to hold off the charge. Hayden Madore, KK Wills and Amanda Trepanier each had 11 points for the Bulldogs.

“Our defense has been our identity (this season),” Madore said. “Just playing fast, transition. When me, KK and (Trepanier) especially, when our 3’s are going in, that’s when we’re at our best. Big credit to Averi Baker and Iris Ireland, they were just on the floor the entire game and got us going.”


“We’ve been on a roller-coaster ride this season,” senior forward Iris Ireland added. “This season, we have the defense, we have the talent, we have the work ethic. It’s just one of those years where everything adds up. It’s almost perfect.”

Hall-Dale’s Averi Baker battles for the rebound with Old Orchard Beach’s Sarah Davis (25) during a Class C South girls basketball semifinal Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Hall-Dale’s success is not coming out of nowhere. It’s not just the hardwood where members of the basketball team have found success.

“People don’t realize, that group of (upperclassmen), there’s tennis players that won a state championship, there’s softball players that won a state championship last year,” Hall-Dale head coach O.J. Jaramillo said. “There’s basketball kids that won the (C/D title) last year, soccer players that won the (Mountain Valley Conference title) three years in a row. They’re all multi-sport athletes. Collectively as a group, it’s not just the seniors, but most of the upperclassmen, they’ve been exposed to a lot of pressure situations. A lot of big games.”

Lily Platt and Rita Benoit, among others, helped lead the Hall-Dale softball team to the Class C title last spring. Moira O’Connor and Jenna Lee were partners in second doubles for the Hall-Dale girls tennis team that won the Class C title last spring.

“The whole collective, we can take that experience from all these other sports and big games,” Jaramillo said. “It makes my job a lot easier.”

Like Old Orchard Beach, North Yarmouth Academy will be a foreign opponent for the Bulldogs. The two teams did not meet in the regular season. The Panthers (17-2) reached the regional final with a 42-28 win over No. 2 Carrabec in the semifinals Thursday.


Hall-Dale was able to watch some of the NYA-Carrabec game before getting ready for its game against Old Orchard, but Jaramillo said he’s managed to do some scouting on the Panthers thanks to streaming options Maine high schools put in place for fans during the COVID-19 pandemic and have continued using into this season.

“If there’s one positive thing that’s come out of this COVID stuff, is all these games, they’re streamed everywhere,” Jaramillo said. “They’re YouTubed, they’re everywhere. We’ve got a lot of film on them, they’ve got a lot of film on us. All of the teams that we thought we’d have to go through, we’ve been watching. NYA is a good team. The Huntsman girl is very legit, they’ve got a couple bigs that can finish. (NYA forwards Charlotte Harper-Cunningham and Josie Harper-Cunningham) are Hall-Dale girls. We know them, we’ve played with them for years. We’ve been keeping a close eye on them. They play a totally different style. They play that 1-3-1, they play zone… These southern Maine teams like OOB and NYA, they run zone. We play full-court man, very different style. But we’ve been trying to prepare for it.”


Dave Dyer — 621-5640


Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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