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by Jack Scott
The Deer Isle-Stonington’s girls varsity basketball players face the Central Aroostook Panthers on Thursday afternoon, February 24, after winning a playoff game in Bangor for the first time in 22 years.
Coach Eaton says we will have to control the tempo of our game. Central Aroostook runs the floor well, and we don’t want to get into a foot race with them.
We have nothing to lose, as we weren’t picked for anything. We need to play hard and loose, giving it all we have with the pressure to win placed on the Panthers.
We beat the Schenck Wolverines 42-36 for the quarterfinal win on February 19. After scoring the first 4 points, we went cold and Schenck led 11-7 after one quarter.
We played a much better second quarter, disrupting the Schenck offense and scoring the last 10 points of the quarter to have a 19-13 lead at the half. Schenck’s only 2 points came on an offensive put-back.
The third quarter was even until the end, when both Heidi Brewer and Britnie Jones picked up their fourth fouls and Schenck scored the last 4 points as we led 29-27.
Schenck opened the fourth quarter with 2 baskets to give the them their first lead since the first half, But then Abby Grindle came right back with a 3-pointer to put us back up 32-31.
That energized us and we scored the next 6 points to have a 38-31 lead with two-and-a-half minutes left, though Heidi Brewer fouled out with about four minutes to go.
We made several turnovers, and Schenck crept back in the game as we gave them opportunities, and we led only 38-35 with a minute left. With the Wolverine’s in the double bonus early, we were lucky they were only 2 of 8 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
In the end, we kept our composure and Janelle Ciomei and Chelsea Brown made both foul shots on one-and-ones in the last 30 seconds to put it out of reach.
This was a great team victory. Being there last year helped us to keep calm in the frenzy of the last few minutes of a close game. Good defense led to many steals and also disrupted the Wolverine’s good shooting.
We rebounded well, out-rebounding them 37-18 overall and 19-3 on the offensive glass. We handled their pressure on the inbounds, passing through the press, though overall we committed more turnovers than Coach Darren Eaton would have liked.
Janelle Ciomei had 12 points and 4 steals, Britnie Jones, 11 points and 9 rebounds, Chelsea Ciomei, 8 points and 12 rebounds, Abby Grindle, 5 points, and Heidi Brewer, 4 points, 5 steals, and 6 rebounds.
Boys lose to Central Aroostook
Our varsity boys basketball team lost its quarterfinal game to No. 1 Central Aroostook, 49-29, on Monday, February 21.
We started out great, and played well the first 13 minutes of the game. Then we hit a pothole and the offense got a flat tire. Central Aroostook took control of the game after that, scoring the next 17 points to turn a close game into a rout.
With three minutes left in the half, we led 16-15. Sam Grindle had 9 of our points, so CA decided to smother Sam and we didn’t have any offensive answer. A few turnovers, a couple of defensive lapses, and Central quickly led 26-16 at the half.
We handled Central’s inbounds pressure well, but Central’s quick defense took us out of rhythm and we weren’t getting the shots we wanted or else they wouldn’t go in. Central’s players were very patient on offense and worked the ball around until they got a good shot.
This will be a valuable lesson for the future, as nerves were a part of our shortcoming. Once we got down by double digits, we weren’t able to run the offense.
Expect Sam Grindle to draw the attention of the defense in the future as well. The only way to beat that is for the rest of the team to step up, and it just wasn’t there this time.
Sam Grindle had 16 of our points, Kevin Melanio and Dylan Brown had 4 apiece, Connor Morey, 3, and Mario Bartlett, 2.
Not a great offensive output but you have to credit Central for its team effort. Central’s experience showed and we should take note as this should be us next year. Most all of our team will be back to challenge them again.
Boys win preliminary game 53-45
The boys survived a slow first half to beat Easton High School 53-45 in a preliminary match-up on February 16. In the first half, both teams were pretty tight and shot cold.
The halftime score was 16 apiece. In the second half, we were more aggressive on defense and pushed the ball up court for transition baskets. Kevin Melanio made 3 steals and Tim Cormier made 7 of his points to give us a 35-25 lead after three quarters.
We pushed the lead over double digits in the fourth quarter, but Easton shooters dropped in a few 3s to keep it close.
When they were desperate to get the ball, they fouled Sam Grindle, who did a good job at the foul line to preserve the lead.
We had balanced scoring behind Sam Grindle’s 20 points, with Tim Cormier 8, Connor Morey 7, Hayden Ciomei and Dylan Brown each with 5, Mario Bartlett 4 points and 10 rebounds, and Kevin Melanio 4.