January 14

Girls' basketball notebook: Davenport’s playing harder, scoring more

Nina Davenport, a Freeport senior, has averaged 24.7 points through 10 games.

By Steve Craig scraig@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Nina Davenport said she doesn’t think about how many points she’s scoring during a game.

click image to enlarge

Nina Davenport

Player of Week

Nina Davenport, Freeport, senior forward: Backed up a 40-point explosion in win against Poland with 25-point efforts in loss at Lake Region and a win at Traip. In the Poland game, Davenport sank five 3-pointers and hit six 3-pointers at Lake Region. Boosted her season scoring average to 24.7 points per game as Falcons improved to 4-6.

HONORABLE MENTION

Ashley Storey, Greely, senior forward: Started the week with a triple-double in easy win against Kennebunk (14 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) and then put up monster 22-point, 13-rebound, 4-steal effort in 42-34 defeat of York. Finished week with 14 points in 55-44 win against Falmouth.

Clarissa Jones, Greater Portland Christian, sophomore forward: Scored 30, 25, and 21 points in three straight wins. In Saturday’s win against North Haven, Jones had 21 points and 18 rebounds before injuring her ankle in the third quarter and not playing the rest of the way.

Jess Willerson, Cheverus, sophomore forward: Stags improved to 7-3 with three wins, starting with Willerson’s 20-point effort in 42-40 win against Gorham. Also had 20 against Noble and 13 vs. Sanford.

AREA TOP 10

1. Thornton

2. McAuley

3. Lake Region

4. Portland

5. Wells

6. South Portland

7. Greely

8. Cheverus

9. Brunswick

10. Windham

Nor does she have a definitive answer to why she’s gone from a handful as a junior to a full-blown headache for opposing teams this year.

“I don’t know exactly what I’ve done differently or why I’m scoring more. I feel like I might be playing a lot harder. It is my senior year, my last time to show what I can do,” said Davenport, a Freeport senior.

Through 10 games for the Falcons (4-6), the 5-10 forward has averaged 24.7 points and also leads her team in rebounding and steals.

“She’s one of the best players in the league, easy,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Christine Casterella.

“Her strength and she’s a complete player (set her apart). She can handle the ball and has a legitimate jump shot.”

“She literally does it all for them,” Wells Coach Don Abbott agreed. “She plays with desire and tenacity.”

Everything came together for Davenport and Freeport last week in a 70-54 win against visiting Poland, which had beaten Freeport easily in the opener.

Davenport scored 40 points in the win, knocking down five 3-pointers.

She followed that effort up with 25-point games at Lake Region (60-38 loss) and at Traip (58-23 win).

“I think our last two wins definitely gave the rest of the players on our team some confidence that we are capable of winning and we should win,” Davenport said.

Davenport will enter Tuesday night’s home game against Greely 30 points shy of 1,000 for her career, according to Freeport Coach Jim Seavey.

“That’s asking a lot to score 30 against Greely, a team that really plays defense,” Seavey said.

On the other hand, Davenport is averaging 30 points a game over her last four outings.

“She’s a pretty talented young lady. She’s really developed her range to the point where she is a legitimate 3-point threat and she’s more than capable of bringing the ball up against the press,” Seavey said.

Davenport said she would like to play in college – if the fit is right. She confirmed that she turned down a significant scholarship offer by Division II Southern New Hampshire University.

“I had to remember that school comes first and if the school’s not the right fit, I wasn’t going to force myself to go somewhere just so I could play basketball,” Davenport said.

 

IT HAS BEEN a season of adjustment for defending Class C champion Waynflete as the Flyers (5-3) adapt to not having Miss Maine Basketball Martha Veroneau, who graduated. Waynflete misses Veroneau’s scoring ability but there is more they miss.

Coach Brandon Salway said senior Leigh Fernandez has not only had to make the switch from off guard to point guard, but now opposing teams are pressing the Flyers – something they essentially never attempted due to Veroneau’s speed and ballhandling.

“Now we’re pressed all the time and Leigh’s seeing the other team’s top defender instead of their third our fourth best and she’s handling it well,” Salway said.

Fernandez is averaging 14.4 points and nearly four assists a game.

Junior Helen Gray-Bauer has gone from being a reserve who brought defensive energy to a 14.7 points, 6.7 rebounds per game starter.

The only other key holdover is Julianna Harwood (7.6 points, 8.0 rebounds) who is still recovering from a knee injury suffered in last year’s Western Class C tournament.

“She’s getting there. I see a little improvement every week,” Salway said.

 

SALWAY NOTED the Western C foursome of Carrabec, St. Dominic, Madison and Dirigo are “all playing really well.” Then he added current No. 8 Old Orchard Beach “could still make some noise.”

The Gulls made Salway seem prophetic a day later, taking Wells, the top-rated team in Western B, to double overtime before losing, 65-61.

 

WELLS WILLL HOST its fifth annual Shoot for a Cure on Saturday.

The daylong fundraiser for York Hospital culminates with the varsity game against Traip at 7 p.m. During the day, the players from Wells’ fifth- and sixth-grade travel teams, its seventh- and eighth-grade teams and the three high school squads will each shoot 50 free throws.

The goal is for each player to raise $100. This year the program expects to crest $100,000 in total donations.

“At halftime of the varsity game we do a check presentation with all the girls from each team on the court. It’s about 80 girls. It helps link our youth levels with our older kids,” Abbott said.

 

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at: scraig@pressherald.com

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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