Thursday, April 24, 2014
Saturday night was never going to end for Bill Goodman, the the McAuley High girls' basketball coach.
His Lions had just won their second consecutive Western Class A championship, beating Scarborough 61-43, when he was asked about Cony – McAuley's opponent in Saturday's state championship game.
Goodman said he didn't know anything about the Rams yet.
Hadn't he watched the Eastern Maine games?
No. All the games that were televised from the Augusta Civic Center were on tape, he said, waiting to be viewed.
"I didn't want to jinx anything,'' said Goodman. "I figured I'd focus on what we were doing. We focused on Westbrook (in the quarterfinals). We focused on Windham (in the semifinals). We focused on Scarborough. I didn't want to be thinking about anything else.
"I will not sleep tonight.''
Many of his players did watch the telecasts of Cony's wins in Augusta and came away impressed. Cony is led by Mia Diplock and Josie Lee.
"They're good,'' said Alexa Coulombe, the talented senior forward heading to Boston College. "They're all shooters. We've got to get out on them. We've got to play our game.''
This will be McAuley's eighth trip to the Class A state championship game, the fourth against Cony.
The Lions won the first title matchup between the two, 67-61 in 2002. But Cony has won the last two: 58-40 in 2005 and 46-41 in 2007.
COULOMBE WON the Edward "Red'' McMann Award, given to the outstanding player/sportsperson of the Western Class A tournament, for the second year in a row.
"It's really nice,'' she said. "Actually, the sportsmanship is a big thing for me.''
Her play is pretty big, too. Although Coulombe scored only eight points against Scarborough, she had six assists and displayed the ability to handle the ball against the press and find open teammates on the break.
"She showed why she's one of the best players in the state,'' said Goodman. "She does it all. She rebounds. She brings the ball up. She makes great passes, can score. She does it all, does it all.''
FOR SCARBOROUGH, the disappointment of losing in the regional title game was tempered by the fact that the Red Storm won only six games last year. And they lose only one senior - Carly Rogers.
"I couldn't ask more of the kids this year,'' said Tom Maines, the long-time boys' basketball coach who was coaching a girls' team for the first time this winter. "They played well.''
Maines said McAuley's athleticism and ability to break the press were key factors.
"We did a pretty good job of taking away (the inside game),'' he said. "We did not do a good job of taking away the fast break, either off the press or a miss.''
Asked if he would be returning next year, Maines immediately said he would.
"I was bored last winter,'' he said. "So why would I want to be bored next winter? This was a wonderful winter. I had fun coaching with my wife (Rita) and really liked the kids.''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.