FAIRFIELD — There are few people Greg Chesley trusts more than Hope Bouchard, but there’s one issue — even if a trivial one — in which he doesn’t believe his star point guard is telling the truth.

Bouchard, a senior on the Lawrence girls basketball team, insists that she’s 5-foot-5, the height at which she’s listed on the Bulldogs’ team roster. Her head coach is willing to let it slide, but deep down, he knows better.

“We’ve had this discussion before,” Chesley said with a laugh. “We haven’t measured her, and we’ll keep her (listed) at 5-5, but my wife is 5-3, and I would say that Hope is more in that range.”

It’s about the only instance in which Bouchard might just be stretching the truth a bit for her own benefit. She is, above all, someone who puts others first, a trait that’s one of the many reasons No. 2 Lawrence (17-3) is playing for a Class A North championship at 7 p.m. Friday against top-ranked Gardiner (20-0).

Bouchard has all the tools that make a guard great. She’s fast, able to keep up with any opposing player; she can shoot, something she did in draining five 3-pointers Wednesday in a semifinal win over Cony; she can distribute, delivering the ball to shooters and post players with pinpoint accuracy.

That last quality is crucial for a Lawrence team that has so many options, inside and outside. Sure, Bouchard can put the ball in the hoop when the Bulldogs need it, but she shines just as much when she’s helping players such as Ali Higgins, Alisabeth Dumont, Maddie Provost and Bri Poulin do their own damage.


“I like being able to get open looks for my teammates,” said Bouchard, who also earned Miss Maine Field Hockey honors in the fall. “It really doesn’t matter if I’m the one getting the points or not because it’s not about me; we have so many great players, and I have so many friends on this team, and I want them to have that success.”

Bouchard’s senior year has been extraordinary. Back in the fall, she led the Lawrence field hockey team to its first-ever state title, earning Miss Maine Field Hockey honors in the process. On the court, she’s helped No. 2 Lawrence (17-3) match high expectations this season.

Achieving what she has over the past year required Bouchard to show some mental and emotional strength. In December 2021, she was involved in a serious car crash along with senior teammate MaKenzie Nadeau. Although Bouchard escaped with a broken finger, Nadeau suffered a fractured spine and ribs, as well as a bruised pancreas.

Bouchard missed seven games last year as a result of the injury, but the accident still took a toll on her mentally once she returned to the court. She initially felt some guilt as a result of what happened, but as Nadeau’s physical health improved, so did Bouchard’s mental and emotional well-being.

“I felt a little like I shouldn’t have come out so fortunately the way I did while my friend had to have surgery on her back and was almost paralyzed,” Bouchard said. “Coming in this year and having the summer to get things off my mind and see MaKenzie doing better, I think that’s really when it started to get better.”

As a basketball team, Lawrence’s strength lies in its unpredictability. The Bulldogs have nearly unparalleled depth, able to rely on nearly any one of their 13 players in uniform to make big plays on a given night. The uncertainty of which player might break out makes game-planning against them a nightmare.


Lawrence’s Hope Bouchard fires a pass around Cony defender Abby Morrill during a Class A North girls basketball semifinal Wednesday at the Augusta Civic Center. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Bouchard’s capacity to add to that unpredictability makes Lawrence even more dangerous. With her wicked handles and lateral movement, she can fool on-ball defenders in either direction — then take her choice of driving to the hoop, shooting a jumper, feeding Poulin in the post or kicking it outside to an open teammate.

“Hope goes left more than any right-handed player in the state of Maine, I guarantee it, and I think people are surprised how quickly and smoothly she can do that,” Chesley said. “She’s also got a great mid-range jump shot. If she gets into the lane and sees a big down low, she can pull up, and that 12-15-footer is pretty much automatic.”

It’s a skill set that’s driven Gardiner head coach Mike Gray crazy. Even though the Tigers beat Lawrence in both regular season matchups this season, it didn’t come without Bouchard giving his team headaches. Between those games and matchups in previous years, Gray’s seen her, he admitted, “a lot more than I’ve wanted to see her.”

Facing Bouchard again Friday, then, is something that Gray admitted might be keeping him up at night. He’s not about to take anyone on Lawrence lightly, but Bouchard, he said, is the one that has him pulling his hair out as he tries to come up with a game plan for the regional title game.

“She just makes the kids around her better,” Gray said. “We’ve played her eight or nine times in her high school career, and I don’t think we’ve ever done a great job of minimizing what she does. … She’s definitely the kid for that Lawrence team where everyone on that team feeds off her.”

When Bouchard gets going, so, too, do the rest of the Bulldogs, and that was certainly the case for the team in the semifinal victory over Cony. Her five 3-pointers were just part of a prolific long-range effort for the Bulldogs, whose 10 3-pointer were one shy of a tournament record. 


“She brings so much to us; she creates a lot, and she’s just so fun to play with,” said Higgins, whose two 3-pointers Wednesday afternoon followed triples from Bouchard. “When she’s playing like that, it gives us so much confidence. She’s a great player all around. I love her so much.”

Lawrence, of course, has a noteworthy basketball tradition, from the days of Cindy Blodgett in the early 1990s to the championship runs with Nia Irving several years ago. Not content with the field hockey state title back in November, Bouchard would love nothing more than to add another Gold Ball to the school’s trophy case. 

Doing so will mean taking down unbeaten Gardiner, something Lawrence hasn’t been able to do in two tries thus far this season. It’ll take Bouchard’s leadership, her distributing, and possibly her scoring — but regardless of what it takes, she’s OK with doing it all.

“I just want to do whatever I can to better everyone, whether that’s my teammates or my community and everyone around me,” Bouchard said. “Whatever they need from me, I’m ready to go and do it.”

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