Sunday, March 9, 2014
They've been talking about this game all season. Ever since the first day of practice, everyone anticipated a Western Class B girls' showdown between defending state champ York and fast-shooting Leavitt.
And it's finally here.
The schools will play for the regional championship at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Both teams are 20-0, and York has won 42 consecutive games.
It should be interesting. York allowed an average of just over 28 points per game during the regular season and held Greely to 15 points in the semifinals. Leavitt averaged nearly 80 points during the regular season.
"The (topic) has come up a couple of times," said Rick Clark, the long-time York coach. "It came up before the tournament, and I told the girls that before we met Leavitt, we had to win our first game. Then I told them before we met Leavitt we had to beat Greely.
"I was a little worried we were going to be thinking about that (in the semifinals). But we didn't."
The teams scouted each other many times during the regular season. Clark saw Leavitt live twice and on television once, and sent an assistant coach another time.
"And I know she (Leavitt Coach Tammy Anderson) saw us more," he said. "She's got three notebooks full of notes on us."
Whatever happens, said Clark, "there won't be many surprises for her or for us. I think it will be a great game. I hope it's the kind of game that everyone has been hoping for.''
NICOLE TAYLOR scored 11 points in York's 46-15 semifinal win over Greely, becoming the school's all-time leading scorer. She now has 1,419 points. Lani Boardman was the previous record-holder with 1,413.
"It's a great honor," said Taylor. "But I'm just excited to be playing in Saturday's game."
Taylor said Boardman's name means basketball in York.
"Everyone knows what type of player Lani Boardman was," said Taylor. "At the school, when you mention basketball, it's Lani Boardman.
"It's a huge accomplishment. I feel like everything I put in, the hours at the gym, really paid off. I never knew it would come to this, though."
Clark said the one thing people need to realize is that Taylor, who will finish second in career rebounding behind Boardman, is also a great defender and leader.
Taylor will play at Vermont next year, which is where Boardman also played.
SHOULD FRIDAY'S storm postpone the Western Class A girls' semifinals at the Cumberland County Civic Center, the regional championships will spill over into next week.
Maine Principals' Association officials said the plan is to keep the Class B girls' and boys' regional championships as scheduled Saturday at the Civic Center, at 2 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
And if the Class A girls' semifinals are postponed, they will be played Saturday night at 7 and 9.
The Western Class A girls' and boys' regional finals would then be moved to Monday, most likely at 6 and 8 p.m.
Gerry Durgin, the Gorham High athletic director and MPA representative at the Civic Center, said they will do everything they can to play the semifinal games Friday night.
According Larry Labrie of the MPA, the Eastern Class A finals at the Augusta Civic Center would be moved to Monday if they're postponed Friday.Tweet
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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.