December 6, 2012

Girls' basketball preview

• CLASS A

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Tiana-Jo Carter, left, at 6-foot-2 is a strong defender as well as an offensive threat for Lake Region, the Western Class B champion.

2012 Press Herald File

20111223_GirlsBBall
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Allie Clement directs the offense for a McAuley team that will seek to win a third straight Class A state title after going 22-0 last season.

2011 Press Herald File

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BIDDEFORD

Coach: Brian Heal, third year

Last year: 4-14

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Bailey Cote, jr., F; Carissa Gelinas, soph., PG; Elyse Oliver, sr., F; Laci Gilblair, sr., F; Erica Letellier, sr., G

Outlook: The Tigers will be extremely young again, with only five upperclassmen among the 12 players. But there is young talent and, as always with Biddeford, defensive tenacity. Scoring was a problem last year and the Tigers need to find some consistent threats. Gelinas, a very heady player, and Cote, aggressive inside, will hold their own but someone else has to step up. If that comes together, Biddeford could make a playoff push.

BONNY EAGLE

Coach: Suzanne Rondeau, seventh year

Last year: 7-11

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Caitlyn Hawxwell, soph., G; Samantha Maxfield, soph., G; Samantha Campobasso, sr., PG; Shannon Sanborn, sr., F; Rebecca Howell, jr., C; Delany McCullough, soph., PG

Outlook: The Scots will be young, with eight players who are sophomores or freshmen, but look to make a playoff run. Success will depend on how quickly the young guards adjust to the varsity level. Bonny Eagle will look to push the ball as much as possible and capitalize on transition baskets. Seniors Jordan Ray and Marley Harmon will provide strong leadership.

BRUNSWICK

Coach: Sam Farrell, fourth year

Last year: 4-14

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Lauren Carlton, sr., G; Lyse Henshaw, jr., G; Julia Champagne, soph., PG

Outlook: The Dragons will be small with much inexperience. But Farrell is hopeful that once the players learn to play the system and with each other, Brunswick can make a playoff run. They have good ballhandlers, usually make good decisions and take good shots. If they can rebound the ball, the Dragons will be much improved.

CHEVERUS

Coach: Richie Ashley, seventh year

Last year: 12-8, lost in West quarterfinals

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Kylie Libby, sr., PG; Brooke Flaherty, sr., C; Mikayla Mayberry, sr., G; Victoria Nappi, sr., F; Georgia Ford, jr., G

Outlook: The Stags figure to be one of the best teams in Western Class A, a deep, talented, athletic group that can make a run at the championship. Libby is being moved to her natural position at the point, where the Stags hope to take advantage of her many talents. Look for the Stags to push the tempo as much as possible, using a bench that can go 11 deep. If the Stags can continue to develop through the season, they'll be tough to beat come tournament time.

DEERING

Coach: Mike Murphy, fifth year

Last year: 14-5, lost in West quarterfinals

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Chelsea Saucier, sr., G; Marissa MacMillan, sr., C; LeeAnn Downs, jr. G; Keneisha DiRamio, sr., G; Alexis Stephenson, sr., F

Outlook: The Rams have been one of the most consistent programs in the SMAA over the last decade and should be among the contenders again. In the 6-foot-4 MacMillan, they have a game-changer on defense and consistent inside threat. Saucier has the potential to be one of the best guards in the conference. Others will need to step up and find their roles. As the season unfolds, look for Deering to make a push for one of the top playoff spots.

GORHAM

Coach: Laughn Berthiaume, sixth year

Last year: 8-11, lost in West prelim

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Kristin Ross, sr., F; Jessica Rexrode, jr., G; Erin Smith, sr., PG; Lexi Merrifield, sr., F/C

(Continued on page 2)

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