AUGUSTA — Maddy Werner and Dakota Shipley have made the most of their brief time with the Brunswick High School girls basketball program.

The two junior forwards, who transferred to Brunswick from Morse High School in Bath, have been major contributors this season for the Dragons (19-2), who will face Lawrence (18-3) in the Class A final Friday night at 6 at the Augusta Civic Center.

“I’m really pumped,” Shipley said. “It’s my first time making it this far in general. Last year (at Morse), we only made it to the (quarterfinal).”

“I’m so excited,” Werner added. “I’m so pumped. I’m a little nervous, but you know, everyone is.”

Shipley and Werner competed for the Shipbuilders last year under former head coach Ryan Maines. Morse finished 8-11, falling to Falmouth in the A South quarterfinals. After the school year, Werner and Shipley decided to transfer to Brunswick. They both knew many of the Brunswick players in the program, which helped ease the transition.

“I thought it was going to be harder than it really was,” Shipley said. “I really got along with everybody. I knew some of the girls previously, like (junior guard) Emily Doring, (junior forward) Abrielle (St. Pierre), I knew them from when we were in like, fifth grade. But I thought it was going to be different and kind of hard (to fit in). But it kind of wasn’t. Everyone was really accepting of me and Maddy and I really like the team a lot.”


“It wasn’t rough at all,” Werner added. “Everyone on the team was really welcoming, which was really nice. I already knew most of them beforehand. I originally planned on coming to Brunswick a while ago, but COVID happened and I just stayed in Bath (during that time). But they were super welcoming, and I’ve never been more happy.”

Brunswick girls basketball coach Sam Farrell, center in black T-shirt, talks to players prior to practice Wednesday at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Senior forward and captain Sophia Morin said the team made sure that Werner and Shipley felt welcome.

“The captains and I, we’ve really tried to include them,” Morin said. “Especially being a new student; it’s hard coming in to the overall school environment. It can be really difficult. Especially at an older age. We did a lot of after-school activities. We had poster nights at my house, we had pizza nights. We’ve gone out to team dinners. We’ve included them in everything. Everybody’s invited, we even invite the (junior varsity) team. I think they’ve gotten along pretty well with us and we’ve obviously loved having them on our team as well.”

Brunswick head coach Sam Farrell said the transition has been smooth.

“When the school year started, they already started gravitating toward each other,” he said. “Even though we had kids playing soccer and kids playing volleyball, they still had time to get together. They found time to harass me in school. I think they enjoy getting together and picking on me plenty. But that’s the thing, they’re so inclusive… They’re phenomenal kids, phenomenal families and you can just see it.”

The easiness of the transition has shown on the court. Shipley was the team’s leading scorer (13.2 points per game) during the regular season, 16th-best in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference. Shipley’s scoring has worked well in tandem with senior guard Kelsie Carlton, who is averaging 10.4 points and 4.3 assists per game.


“Everybody on our team can shoot and everybody on our team can be a leading scorer,” Shipley said. “I feel like that’s a really big thing.”

Werner has been a force in the post, averaging 9.5 rebounds per game (seventh best in the KVAC). She was second only to Gardiner’s Lizzy Gruber in the KVAC in blocked shots per game (4.3). Werner and Shipley have aided a defense that is allowing a conference-best 32.6 points per game.

“We work on (defense) the most,” Werner said. “It’s our key thing. That’s what we work on and our strongest (aspect) on the court.”

The Dragons will need that defensive output against a Lawrence team that had the best scoring offense in KVAC A (62.5 ppg). Brianna Poulin (10.8 ppg) and Hope Bouchard (10.7 ppg) have been the Bulldogs’ leading scorers.

“They have some good shooters,” Werner said. “We’ll have to guard them on the (3-pointers), watch for their shooters. But they have some height, too.”

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