CAPE ELIZABETH — Simple and easy are two very different concepts. Cape Elizabeth’s plan Monday night was simple: Stop Nina Davenport and let Freeport’s other players try to beat the Capers.
Simple? Yes. Was it easy? Let’s just say it was simple.
Hannah Sawyer scored 16 points, had nine rebounds and blocked three shots to help Cape Elizabeth rally Monday night to a 48-36 victory over Freeport in a Western Maine Conference girls’ basketball game.
After trailing early, then nipping at the Falcons’ heels, Cape took its first lead, 19-18, when Maddison Lengyel scored the final basket of the first half.
Cape went on an 11-0 run midway through the third quarter to pull away for good. Sawyer and Maddie Bowe each scored four points to key the run for Cape Elizabeth (2-2), which has won two straight after opening 0-2.
Bowe, who finished with 12 points off the bench, also pulled down four offensive rebounds in the second quarter. Emma O’Rourke (eight points) went 5 for 6 from the free-throw line late to help seal the victory.
“We had a defensive plan coming in, and we executed it pretty well,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Christine Casterella said. “Davenport still had 21 points, she’s that good. The plan was to limit her touches, make her work for her points and make the other kids beat us.
“We ended up putting enough points on the board where her 21 didn’t sink us.”
Davenport added nine rebounds and had four steals, all while contending with pressure, chiefly from guard Mary Perkins and forward Ashley Tinsman.
“Our help defense was very good, whether we were sagging to deny her on the post or getting into the driving lanes when she got it on the perimeter,” Casterella said. “She plays all over, so it’s a little bit of a challenge. Mary and Ashley did a phenomenal job. We limited her, but we certainly didn’t stop her.”
But the Capers did prevent the other Falcons from filling the void.
“We’re working really well as a team,” said Cape’s Kate Miklavic, who pulled down five key rebounds to go with a steal and a blocked shot. “We’re just moving along and hoping to get better as the season goes along.”
“Our rebounding was atrocious,” Freeport Coach Jim Seavey said. “That was the difference in the game. We were getting one shot on our end, and they were getting two and three on theirs. … The score is not really indicative of the game, but that’s just the way it goes.”
The Falcons (1-3) held command early, holding Cape without a field goal until 3:47 remained in the first quarter.
“(Freeport was) doing an awesome job pressuring us,” Sawyer said, “but we did a good job collecting ourselves and kept working as a team.”
“Our two wins were team wins,” Casterella said. “They’ve been all-out efforts; we’re executing our game plan, thinking about what they’re doing.”
Meanwhile, Freeport will turn its focus to fundamentals.
“We’ll keep plugging away on shooting and rebounding and competing,” Seavey said. “That’s the biggest challenge, learning that if you compete for 32 minutes, night in, night out, good things will happen.”