Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Waynflete sophomore forward Juliana Harwood fell hard to the floor, with her leg twisting awkwardly, in the second quarter of the Western Class C final against Madison. Harwood was in obvious pain. While two athletic trainers attended, Waynflete Coach Brandon Salway stood a few feet to her side with a solemn look on his face.
The scene was all-too-familiar for Catherine Veroneau, though her perspective was different. The past two years, Veroneau suffered major knee injuries that severely hampered the Flyers’ quest for a Western Class C title.
“When Juliana went down, that really brought me back to my injuries and reminded me why I love to play. It reminded me of how I wanted to do everything I could to keep the team, focused and ready and playing well,” Veroneau said.
Waynflete had significantly outplayed Madison prior to Harwood’s injury, but due to poor shooting had only a 14-10 lead. The injury didn't deflate the Flyers. Waynflete scored 13 straight points in 90 seconds after play resumed and went on to a 63-41 victory.
Waynflete (19-3) will appear in its first Class C state championship game on Saturday, facing undefeated Calais (21-0) at the Bangor Auditorium.
Veroneau and Rhiannon Jackson replaced Harwood’s inside scoring presence.
“Catherine and Rhiannon did an amazing job. I was sitting over there and I just kept hearing their names, ‘Rhiannon Jackson. Catherine Veroneau.’ It was a great team effort,” Harwood said.
Harwood has a history of her knee dislocating. She played for about 50 seconds at the start of the second half before the knee again gave out on her.
“I don’t care what it is, I’m playing,” in the state final on Saturday, Harwood said.
“We have a good training staff and we’ll let them make the call,” Salway said. “We’ll just have to see what she’s dealing with. We need her obviously. It would be a tough blow to not have her.”
WAYNFLETE BEAT four Mountain Valley Conference teams in the regional tournament, each by more than 20 points. Salway pointed out his squad is the first from the Western Maine Conference to advance to the Class C state championship since Wells in 1979.
Waynflete senior Martha Veroneau became the seventh two-time winner of the Robin Colcord Award, which honors the outstanding player-sportsman in the Western Class C tourney. She scored 103 points in four tournament games.
Jackson averaged 13.5 points in the Flyers’ run through the West, reaching double figures in each game.
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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.