The girls basketball team pulled a victory out of the hat in the last 60 seconds in besting Shead, 44-41, at Eastport. We started out slow, trailing 8-7 after the first quarter, and then fell into a hole as we trailed 29-19 at the half. Shead played with more energy and they also got the benefit of abundant foul calls. Shead shot 36 foul shots to our 10 in the game.
We responded in the third period, even with leading scorer Chelsea Brown on the bench from mid-way through the third period to mid-way through the fourth period with four fouls. Janelle Ciomei hit a couple of big three-pointers and Sarah Boutilier came through as well. We were able to pull within a point, trailing 33-32 after three periods.
It really all came down to the last minute. After trading the lead back and forth, Janelle Ciomei got a steal on the press and converted a lay-up to tie up the score at 41. After another turnover, Julie Hutchins brought down the ball and was fouled with 12 seconds left. She calmly (well, it looked that way) put in both foul shots in a one-and-one situation. In desperation, Shead threw the ball away and then fouled Chelsea Brown who made one of the foul shots.
So it wasn’t pretty, but it was a win in a tough environment (note the foul difference) and we used our experience to give us poise at the end of a close game. Chelsea Brown led us with 16 points, Janelle Ciomei, 11, Sarah Boutilier, 5, and Julie Hutchins, 4.
The boys varsity basketball team beat a tall Shead team, 69-60. The first period gave Shead a one-point lead, but we took control after that to lead by 10 at the half. We were able to maintain that lead throughout the second half and extended it a bit in the fourth period so Coach Glenn Billings was able to use his bench at the end.
Shead is a good team with height, so they threw a zone defense at us to challenge our ability to shoot over it. We were successful at attacking the zone and either finding the seams to get inside shots, or shooting well over the zone. On top of that, our full court man-to-man defense frustrated them, and we did a good job of rotating to the ball to contest their shots.
It was a physical game with lots of fouls (sound familiar?) and our depth allowed us to survive them. Sam Grindle led us with 21 points, Tim Cormier had 12, Hayden Ciomei, 11 and nine rebounds, Lucas Oliver had a good game off the bench with 10 points, and Connor Morey, 8.
The girls got a good win but look ahead to a busy week with several challenges. Penobscot Valley, Sumner, and Jonesport Beals will test our endurance. Working the freshmen into the offense will make the difference as the season progresses. We can’t afford to get into big holes so we need to play four hard quarters to establish ourselves.
The boys showed their balance in the win over Shead. We are a much-improved team, but we face a much-improved list of opponents. We have two tough games, Sumner and Jonesport, this week to test us going into Christmas. How we deal with these two top teams will show us where we are right now.