Basketball, says Deering girls’ basketball coach Mike Murphy, is a game of rhythm. The more you play, the better the rhythm.

Last week’s snowstorms disrupted many schools. And with the tournament fast approaching, it’s going to be interesting to see how quickly teams can re-establish their rhythm.

“Snow days are a pain,” said Murphy. “When you’re disconnected like that, the kids get out of rhythm.”

That’s because it’s not just the games that are called off. Most schools also have policies that prohibit practices on a snow day.

“It’s time away from the court,” said Scarborough Coach Jim Seavey. “You try to work on things and get repetitions – you tell the kids the way to get better at something is to keep repeating it – but then all of a sudden you lose it because of Mother Nature.

“And not to mention the conditioning you lose. But we have no control over it. We live in Maine and you have to expect (postponements) from year to year and deal with it when it happens.”

The postponements can lead to long breaks in the schedule and a logjam of games late in the season. Windham, for example, hasn’t played since Jan. 15 and still has eight games to squeeze in between now and the final day of the regular season on Feb. 11. Greely last played on Jan. 17.

“This time of year, you’re looking to some big games and key point-worthy games,” said Paul Marquis, the veteran coach at Traip Academy in Kittery. “You get the game plan in, you get the kids geared up, and then things change at a moment’s notice. You hope the kids can adjust.”

Because of mid-terms, Traip had gone seven days without a game scheduled, then had Friday’s game with Old Orchard Beach postponed. The Rangers defeated Waynflete on Saturday, but now have another seven days off.

And, said Marquis, you can only do so much in practice.

“You can only simulate game speed so much during the week,” he said. “this time of year, you want to stay sharp by playing games regularly. I think all the kids are anxious to get back to playing somebody else other than the people they’ve been seeing all week.”

 

THERE’S A cluster of teams fighting for the last few tournament berths in Western Class A, and Scarborough, the defending state champ, is among them after a slow start. The Red Storm (2-9) are ranked 11th. The top nine get into the postseason.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” said Seavey. “Like anything else, the more you do it, the better you’ll get, and the more competition you see, the better you’ll get.

“The kids are getting into a comfort zone. They have some varsity games under their belt and the sharpness in practice is better. And as I always tell them, you play like you practice.”

Courtney Alofs, a 5-8 sophomore, has been playing well inside, with recent games of nine, 13 and 12 rebounds. And freshman Alisha Starbird has played well all year, leading the team with about 10.5 points per game. “She understands the game,” Seavey said of Alofs. “She’s got a good basketball IQ.”

 

AFTER A slow start, Brunswick is making a move in Eastern Class A. The Dragons have won three in a row, including Saturday’s 54-42 win over second-ranked Edward Little, to move to 8-4 and into fifth in the Heal point standings.

“Every win is a big one,” said Sam Farrell, the Dragons’ second-year coach.

The team has undergone a transformation from a year ago, when it was guard-heavy, and it took some time for the players to adjust.

“We’re really understanding what type of team we are,” said Farrell. “And we’ve cut our turnovers in half. Early on, we were beating ourselves.”

More important, he said, “We’re having fun.”

The Dragons have some big games remaining, including tonight’s game in Oakland against fourth-ranked Messalonskee, which beat the Dragons in overtime earlier this season.

 

CAPE ELIZABETH made a statement with its 37-34 win over Lake Region on Saturday. The win moved the Capers (7-4) solidly into seventh place in Western Class B.

“Hats off to Cape,” said Lake Region Coach Paul True. “They played much more inspired basketball than we did. They deserved the win.”

The Capers are a gritty group that plays harassing defense. “If you don’t score, you’re going to be in trouble,” said True. “They play very solid defense.”

The Lakers, meanwhile, are struggling with injuries to two starters – junior guards Abby Craffey and Allison Clark, the team’s best outside threats.

Clark has a knee injury that could keep her out the rest of the year. Craffey has a sprained ankle.

 

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]