FALMOUTH – The Poland girls’ basketball team had been in this situation before. Twice in the first three games this season, in fact, the game came down to the final minutes.
This time, the Knights made sure the result would be different.
Lindsay Theriault scored from the low post for her only basket of the game to give Poland the lead for good with 1:44 to play Saturday, and the Knights held off Falmouth for a 47-40 victory in a Western Maine Conference girls’ basketball game.
Emily Bolduc scored 16 points for the Knights (2-2). Michaela Arsenault had 15 points and 11 rebounds, Brittina Maheux added 12 points, and Theriault pulled in seven rebounds.
“It was good that we could finish,” Poland Coach Darren Littlefield said. In close losses to Western Class B favorites Lake Region and York, the Knights led late but “got away from what we were doing correctly. The hard work was there, but we made some bad decisions at the end that cost us.”
Anna Hickey scored 13 points to lead Falmouth (2-2), whose troubles centered on a need to improve the quality of its depth, discipline and rebounding, Coach Mari Warner said.
“Those are the three keys,” Warner said. “We’re trying to develop some depth, continue to learn our new defense, and we need to rebound. (Those fixes) start in practice.”
Anna Hickey’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Falmouth a 28-22 lead at halftime. The Knights outscored Falmouth 13-8 in the third quarter, narrowing their deficit to 36-35.
“Early on we were patient, we saw the floor well and shots were falling,” Hickey said. “In the second half we got frantic. And rebounding is something that keeps hindering our play.”
Bolduc scored the first points of the fourth on a runner with 4:58 left. Arsenault’s 3-pointer pushed Poland’s lead to 40-36, but Falmouth scored two quick baskets to tie it with 2:40 left.
Littlefield then called a timeout.
“I spent the whole timeout talking about believing,” he said. “I wanted them knowing that we had the ability to finish this out.”
When play resumed, Theriault hit her only basket, and Bolduc made the front end of a 1-and-1 to push the lead to 43-40. Arsenault then hit two free throws with 52 seconds left.
“We played with a lot more confidence today,” Bolduc said. “We slowed the game down a lot, which was beneficial for us. We wouldn’t have won a game like this last year. We’ve really grown together as a team and we really trust each other.”