December 6, 2012

Girls' basketball preview

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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

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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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Outlook: Ross is one of the top players in the state, but she'll be out until likely late December with an elbow injury. How the teams fares without her will be pivotal to its overall success. The team is relatively young, with six of the 12 roster spots going to sophomores and freshmen, but Gorham should still be fighting for a top playoff berth. Rexrode, already in her third year as a starter, and Smith provide solid leadership at the guard position, and Merrifield is an under-rated inside presence.


Coach: Rob Sullivan, 17th year

Last year: 1-17

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Sam Carey, sr., C; Doria King, sr., F; Olivia Snyder, sr., G; Betsy Craig, sr., PG; Carinn Burns, sr., F; Heather Landry, sr., F

Outlook: The Rams will still be young, with three sophomores in the top 10 players, but should get a boost from the return of Burns and Craig from injuries last year. Carey is the lone returning starter and, at 5-11, is expected to anchor the inside defense. King and Snyder should be the offensive leaders. Look for the Rams to be competitive and improve as the season progresses.


Coach: Lee Petrie, ninth year

Last year: 16-4, lost in West semifinals

Returning starters: 0

Impact players: Hannah Ferguson, sr., F; Abby Hyson, sr., F/G; Alli Schoff, sr., G; Jillian Gori, sr., G; Megan McLean, soph., G

Outlook: A tough early schedule -- games at Deering, Scarborough and McAuley -- will test the Hawks. They should gain valuable experience in those games, which will help later in the season. Marshwood will be deep and athletic, allowing the Hawks to push the tempo as much as possible. While no starters return, several players gained valuable experience in reserve roles.


Coach: Holly McHale, second year

Last year: 5-13

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Audrey Hoyle, sr., F; Monica St. Amand, jr., PG; Courtney Couture, sr., G; Nikki Roberge, sr., C; Jolena Lampron, jr., F

Outlook: The Mustangs graduated eight seniors from last year but are still optimistic for an improved season. They will switch to a more up-tempo game, looking to take advantage of some athletic perimeter players and a deeper bench. If the offense can produce some transition points, the Mustangs should be in the thick of the playoff race. Hoyle, the lone returning starter, looks to keep everyone on track. Lampron, who missed last year with an injury, is a nice addition.


Coach: Bill Goodman, second year

Last year: 22-0, Class A state champion

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Allie Clement, jr., PG; Olivia Smith, jr., C; Victoria Lux, soph., F; Molly Mack, sr., F; Olivia Dalphonse, soph., G; Jackie Welch, jr., G; Sarah Clement, fr., G

Outlook: There may not be a team in the state with the talent, depth, versatility and defensive toughness that the Lions have. The two-time defending Class A state champs are loaded and look poised to repeat. They combine great talent in the backcourt with size and experience down low to cause matchup headaches for everyone. Clement excels at pushing the pace and making smart decisions, while Smith (6-2), Lux (6-0) and Mack (6-0) are all offensive and defensive threats. The addition of Dalphonse from Bonny Eagle makes this team even stronger.


Coach: Kelly LaFountain, 13th year

Last year: 13-7, lost in East semifinals

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