Friday, December 13, 2013
Presque Isle's girls' basketball team left at 7 a.m. Friday morning for the 5 1/2 hour trip to Portland, navigating roads that were still being plowed from the 20 inches of snow that fell overnight.
The Wildcats stopped in Waterville for lunch and then arrived at the Cumberland County Civic Center for a shoot-around at 2 p.m.
The drive and early wake-up call didn't seem to hurt, as the Wildcats beat Lake Region 51-44 for the Class B girls' basketball championship.
"No excuses,'' said Coach Jeff Hudson.
The Wildcats planned to stay in Portland overnight before heading to Hermon on Saturday for an all-star game.
HUDSON COULDN'T say enough about Lake Region. "That's a great, great team we beat,'' he said. "We just kind of gutted it out.''
The state title, the Wildcats' second over Lake Region in two years, also said something about his girls.
"This is historic for us,'' said Hudson. "We know they're great athletes and they're great kids. That senior class, they've been successful in whatever they've done.
"That Gold Ball says a lot about their character, about their talent. These are great kids. I don't know what we're going to do without them.''
LAKE REGION Coach Paul True praised Hudson for his halftime adjustments, switching to a 2-3 zone that held the Lakers to 15 second-half points (after 29 in the first half) and to a high-post offense that allowed Chandler Guerrette to get free. She had 14 of her 33 points in the fourth quarter.
He also had high praise for his players.
"These are great kids,'' he said. "I couldn't be more proud of them. They came in and (in) the first half played great. Things didn't go our way in the second half. But their effort and attitude is just A-plus. I couldn't be more proud of them.''Tweet
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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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.