Saturday, March 8, 2014
By Matt DiFilippo
BANGOR — Nokomis senior Taylor Shaw and her coach, Michelle Paradis, both thought the Warriors could have played better defense Saturday morning against 10th-seeded John Bapst in their Eastern Class B girls’ basketball quarterfinal.
But Nokomis played defense more than well enough to win.
The Warriors forced 22 turnovers and held John Bapst to 7-of-30 shooting, coasting to a 42-22 victory at the Cross Insurance Center.
Shaw led the second-seeded Warriors (19-0) with 20 points, including 10 in the third quarter when Nokomis pulled away. The Warriors will play No. 3 Mt. Desert Island in the semifinals at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday in Bangor.
“We kind of slacked off a little bit,” Shaw said. “But in the end, we pulled it together.”
Oddly enough, Nokomis was trying to buck a tournament trend by winning its quarterfinal. The No. 2 seeds in Eastern Class A girls (Lawrence) and Eastern Class B boys (Camden Hills) both lost Friday.
“We knew we couldn’t take them for granted,” Nokomis Coach Michelle Paradis said. “This is their home floor. It’s definitely something we (had) to worry about. We had some lapses, but we pulled through.”
Nokomis led 11-7 after one quarter, then held John Bapst to four field goals the rest of the game. Anna MacKenzie (nine points, six rebounds) passed well when the Crusaders tried to collapse on her inside, and while MacKenzie was on the bench, 5-foot-5 guard Kelsie Richards kept Bapst from second chances by grabbing five rebounds in the first half.
“We definitely worked on our guards rebounding the ball more,” Paradis said. “They actually do a really great job crashing the boards for us when we don’t have our big people in.”
Nokomis led 15-10 late in the second quarter, and with Bapst holding the ball for one shot, it seemed the worst outcome for the Crusaders would be a five-point deficit at the break. Instead, Lindsay Whitney stole the ball and fed Shaw for a fast-break layup, and the Warriors were up 17-10 at the half.
The Warriors were in complete control after that. Shaw scored her 20 points on only nine field-goal attempts, as she was 7 of 9 from the floor and 6 of 8 at the line. She had 10 points in the third quarter, and Richards got the lead to double digits for the first time when she dropped in a 3-pointer to make it 25-13. The Warriors pushed their advantage to 33-17 by the end of the quarter.
Meagan True was the only player who made more than one field goal for John Bapst. She finished with 12 points and nine rebounds, while the rest of the Crusaders combined for 10 points and nine rebounds.
Matt DiFilippo can be contacted at 861-9243 or at: