Sunday, March 9, 2014
The matchup everyone wanted in Western Class A girls' basketball has been set up.
Unbeaten, top-ranked and defending Class A state champ McAuley will play second-ranked and once-beaten Scarborough at 7 p.m. Saturday for the regional crown.
McAuley beat the Red Storm by 12 points a little over a month ago, and this rematch should be intriguing.
Scarborough has survived two close games in the tournament, overcoming 10-point second-half deficits each time to rally past Cheverus and Marshwood.
Freshman Ashley Briggs, who didn't have a point in the tournament until she hit a basket 1:26 into the second half of Wednesday's semifinal, scored a three-point play with 28 seconds left to lift the Red Storm past Marshwood.
McAuley got 34 points from its 1-2 inside punch of Alexa Coulombe and Olivia Smith to beat Windham in the other semifinal.
"They're a great team,'' McAuley Coach Bill Goodman said of Scarborough. "They don't give up. They've got a lot of mentally tough kids. I think we're going to have to play our best game to beat them.''
WINDHAM GUARD Meghan Gribbin was held to just eight points against McAuley, with the Lions shuttling players at her in the first half. Sadie DiPierro did the bulk of the work, and she knew she was going to have her hands full.
"She is one of the best,'' said DiPierro. She's tough because she can drive, she can shoot, she can do everything, so it was really important that we kept her out of her game.''
After watching Coulombe struggle in the Lions' quarterfinal win with just three points, Gribbin knew the Eagles could be in trouble.
"I think we knew she was going to be coming after us tonight,'' said Gribbin. "And then she just took over.''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.