FAIRFIELD — In the face of adversity, Greg Chesley always knows he can count on at least one of his players to deliver when it matters.

What the head coach of the Lawrence girls basketball team doesn’t know — what nobody seems to know — is who that player (or players) is going to be.

There’s not one player in uniform on the floor or on the Lawrence bench who can’t be counted when the Bulldogs need scores or defensive stops. It’s a remarkable level of depth and balance that’s led Chesley’s team to 12 straight wins, the latest of which came in the form of a 63-47 victory Friday against Nokomis.

Lawrence improved to 14-2 with the win, while Nokomis fell to 9-8.

“This is by far the deepest team I’ve ever been around,” Chesley said. “We talked in the locker room about how we really have 13 girls who can all play. It makes it hard some nights because you can’t get all 13 in, and when they get a roll going, you have to stick with them.”

The game didn’t start out well for Lawrence, which, for the second time this year against Nokomis, fell behind early. After trailing 10-0 to the Warriors in a 49-38 road victory last month, the Bulldogs found themselves down 17-9 this time as Nokomis freshman Raegan King sank a trio of 3-pointers to put the visitors in front.


Defense, though, has been the focal point for Lawrence on its 12-game winning streak, and on this night, the Bulldogs’ play on that end of the floor would be the catalyst again. The home team limited Nokomis to four points and found its rhythm offensively to take a 24-21 lead into the locker room.

“We can definitely score, but our scoring is usually created by our defense,” Chesley said. “Tuesday, we allowed three points in the third quarter to Messalonskee and scored 28, and tonight, we (scored 17) and only gave up four in the second. We have those quarters where we shut the other team down, and that creates offense for us.”

In that previous matchup against Nokomis, it was Lilly Gray and Maddie Provost who stepped up to give the Bulldogs a boost. In this game, it was Alisabeth Dumont, who hit four 3-pointers en route to scoring a team-high 16 points on offense and was no less solid on the ball defensively.

Three of those 3-pointers were nothing short of clutch. Her second triple late in the first half cut the Nokomis lead to a point after the Warriors’ early charge; her third early in the second half gave the Bulldogs their first two-possession lead; her fourth put the home team up double digits after Nokomis had fought back to reduce the deficit.

“It definitely was a team thing; the team’s leadership and the motivation from all of our captains motivated us, and I played well,” Dumont said. “We have 13 girls who are amazing. When one of us gets tired, we know the girl coming in next is going to give it their all and keep us going.”

Ali Higgins, who had scored a team-high 18 in Tuesday’s 74-28 victory over Messalonskee, delivered on both ends of the floor as she scored 10 points, grabbed five rebounds and notched three steals. Bri Poulin, always a force down low, scored 11 points and hauled in nine rebounds.


Poulin had not been much of a factor in the first, going scoreless after recording Lawrence’s opening basket and even sitting out late in the period after taking an inadvertent slap to the face. In the second half, though, she came back with a vengeance to help stretch a narrow lead to double digits.

“It definitely motivated me because I was playing angry,” said Poulin, who punished Nokomis in the paint in the third quarter with three straight baskets and a host of rebounds. “I wanted to come back from that and help my team. I was a lot more aggressive.”

Then, there was Hope Bouchard. Not many players can handle the task of staying with the Warriors’ Cam King, but Bouchard largely kept the Nokomis senior in check over the final three quarters. She also scored 10 points, including a six-point spurt in the second that propelled the Bulldogs into the lead.

Nokomis’ Camryn King, left, battles for a loose ball with Lawrence defender Hope Bouchard during a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A game Friday night in Fairfield. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“I’ve been with Hope for four years, and I still don’t know how fast she is because she doesn’t seem to get matched against anyone who can keep up with her speed,” Chesley said. “Camryn King is ultra-fast, and Hope is right there with her, every step. She just has that extra gear.”

An “extra gear” is something Lawrence always seems to have with its depth. They found one in Provost, whose back-to-back baskets in the third quarter keyed a 7-0 run for the home team; they found another in Kaylee Elkins, who finished with eight points and played a significant role in the Bulldogs’ defensive success.

Lawrence will need those extra gears and that unpredictability to fend off its next challenge: Gardiner, which is still unbeaten at 16-0. It’s a game the Bulldogs have anticipated since a 41-37 loss to the Tigers on Dec. 14, and the stage is set for something special Tuesday when A North’s No. 1 and No. 2 teams do battle in Fairfield.

“We’re really looking forward to that one,” Dumont said. “It’s our Senior Night, and there’s no gymnasium like Folsom Gymnasium. When you get everyone in here and get us going against a good team, it’s exciting. We’re ready for it.”

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