Monday February 21, 2011 | 05:47 PM

Friday’s Western Class A girls' semifinal between No. 3 Gorham and No. 2 McAuley at the Cumberland County Civic Center will feature a pair of teams looking for redemption.

For Gorham, the memory comes from being bounced out of the tournament last year by McAuley. For the Lions, the knowledge that they scored only seven points in the second half of 37-27 loss to Gorham on Feb. 5 is even fresher. Gorham star Mia Rapolla led all scorers with 17 points in that game, but the bigger issue was that McAuley was so ineffective against the Gorham zone, with only three players scoring – freshman Alexandra Clement (10), UMaine-bound senior Rebecca Knight (9) and Alexa Coulombe (8).

“One of the things we didn’t do against (Gorham) is box out,” McAuley Coach Amy Vachon said. “When we don’t box out we can’t get the rebound and run, and we definitely were a half-court team against Gorham. They played a fantastic 2-3 zone and we really struggled against it.”

Vachon said her team must avoid the “one pass, shot; one pass, shot,” mentality in its offensive sets.

IT’S POSSIBLE that Friday's showdown will be the last organized basketball game for Rapolla, a thought that's a bit hard to fathom after watching her drop 34 points on Windham in the quarterfinals. Since she has accepted a lacrosse scholarship from UMass, she knows her hoop days are numbered – probably.

“I really want to play basketball, but I don’t know if my (lacrosse) coach is going to let me, just because it’s Division I and it’s constant,” Rapolla said. “If I got the chance to try out I would do it. A hundred percent, I would.”

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VarsityMaine The Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram put a priority on high school sports coverage, and this blog is a place for all our reporters to put news and notes from around the state.

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Maine High School Sports Bloggers

Tom Chard is a Portland native who has covered high school sports and golf for the Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram for 38 years. A three-sport athlete at Deering High, Tom's chief athletic pursuit is chasing the little white ball. He played in his 20th Maine Amateur Golf Championship in July.

Glenn Jordan came to Maine in 1994 to cover the nascent Portland Sea Dogs. After eight baseball seasons and three children – the last two within 18 minutes of each other – he became a part-time writer. Among the sports he covers are now are tennis, skiing, swimming and running. He has a degree in philosophy from Dartmouth, a decent forehand and a penchant for checkers.

Mike Lowe is a Massachusetts native who feels he's lived long enough in Maine (since 1982) to have roots here. He graduated from Boston University and has worked in New Hampshire and Maine, covering everything from the Little League World Series to the Olympics. When he has free time – Ha! – he likes to read, collect comic books and watch the grass grow from his hammock.

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