Saturday February 26, 2011 | 07:00 PM

York High’s defense of its Class B girls’ basketball state championship ended Saturday afternoon with a 58-55 overtime loss to Leavitt. But the Wildcats have had an amazing three-year stretch.

Since the start of the 2008-09 season, York is 63-2. And since seniors Nicole Taylor and Stephanie Gallagher joined the team as freshmen, York has a 79-6 record.

“We had a great run," said Gallagher, who will continuing playing at USM next year. “I’m so glad I had (Rick Clark) as my coach, and Mr. (Steve) Freeman and the other assistants. They were great, supporting us all these years. And the group of girls I had a chance to play with was incredible and I wouldn’t want anyone else. It was a fun group."

Clark, in his 29th season as York coach, said the girls should remember what they’ve done.

“What they’ve brought the town of York and the high school ... just great memories," he said. “And it was a great group of kids."

“We were very dedicated when it comes to game time," said Taylor, who finished as the school’s all-time leading scorer. “We worked hard and we worked as a team."

COURTNEY ANDERSON, a senior guard for Leavitt, was presented the Mike DiRenzo Award as the Western Class B tournament outstanding player/sportsman, completing a rare family feat. Tammy Anderson, the Hornets’ coach and Courtney’s mother, won the Robin Colcord Award, which is given to the outstanding player/sportsman in Western Class C, in 1981. She was known as Tammy Anair and played for Winthrop.

“She told me she has nothing on me anymore," said Courtney Anderson.

WITH LEAVITT
leading by seven midway through the fourth quarter, the Hornets went into a stall – something they never do. Leavitt plays at a fast pace all the time.

York responded with a 9-0 run to go ahead 40-38.

“We’ve never tried to stall before in our life," said Courtney Anderson. “And I don’t think we were supposed to try to stall. But we did. We tried it. It didn’t work out the way we wanted to. But we started over and got back where we needed to be."

HOW EXHAUSTING was the pace of Leavitt’s win over York?

Well, Courtney Anderson said afterward, “I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired in my life running up and down the basketball court. I didn’t think they were going to be able to run with us. But they did. I mean it. They ran well."

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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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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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