Friday, December 13, 2013
When the Western Class A girls' championship game between McAuley and Cheverus tightened up in the final minutes, the Lions were ready.
Cheverus had to foul and McAuley's players responded. Four Lions went 8 for 8 at the foul line in the final 80 seconds to secure McAuley's 47-36 win.
It was McAuley's third regional championship in a row. The two-time defending state champs will play Bangor in the state title game at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
"We run a lot before we shoot foul shots every day in practice,'' said McAuley Coach Bill Goodman. "We want the girls to feel like it's the fourth quarter, so we always shoot foul shots that way.''
Allie Clement got the first two, followed by Sarah Clement, Victoria Lux and Olivia Smith.
ALLIE CLEMENT was named the winner of the Edward "Red'' McMann Award as the tournament's outstanding player/sportsman.
She scored 15 points against Cheverus. What made her efforts even more impressive is that she has played the entire season with an injured right foot. She has to wear a plastic boot when not playing basketball. She is limited in practice – "Some shooting drills and very light running,'' said Goodman – and is in pain whenever she puts pressure on the foot.
Her father, Brian, said she will have an MRI after the season to determine exactly what the injury is. It may be a stress fracture.
Allie Clement shrugs it off.
"That's my problem, I deal with it,'' she said. "On the court I ignore it. I forget about it. Nothing matters at that point. I'll deal with it after the game. I don't care how much pain it is.''
Clement is being recruited by about a dozen Division I schools. Boston College associate head coach Yvonne Hawkins was at the game Saturday night.
Alexa Coulombe, a former McAuley teammate, now plays for Boston College.
Coulombe was also on hand, along with Sadie DiPierro. Both played on McAuley's last two state championship teams.
Other college coaches in attendance included Jen Rizzotti, the head coach at Hartford, as well as coaches from Marist, Holy Cross and Binghamton.
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Paul Betit is an Augusta native and graduate of the University of Maine. He has covered Maine high school sports for more than 30 years and is entering his seventh season as a beat writer covering the Portland Pirates. In his spare time, Betit writes mystery-suspense novels. Occasionally, he tries to sink his second career hole-in-one.
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 Summer Olympics. When he has free time – Ha! – he likes to read, collect comic books and watch the grass grow from his hammock.