January 21

Girls’ basketball notebook: Scarborough’s Briggs attracts attention

By Steve Craig scraig@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Ashley Briggs said she’s had a goal of earning a basketball scholarship since kindergarten – “when I started playing basketball.”

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Abby Hamilton, Gorham, junior guard/forward: Scored 28 points with four 3-pointers against Deering in a 53-44 win, including a half-court shot at the end of the third quarter, and poured in 18 of her 23 points (five 3s) in the first quarter of a 56-29 victory against Noble. Also led Gorham to a 50-27 win Monday against the top-ranked team in Western Class A, Thornton Academy, finishing with 20 points.

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Brianna Holdren, Portland, senior forward: After scoring 15 points with two key 3-pointers in a 61-44 win at Bonny Eagle, she scored 21 points in a 60-55 triumph against Deering, including consecutive baskets late in the fourth quarter to put Portland ahead by one and then stretch lead to three.

Maddie Hasson, South Portland, sophomore guard: Continued her strong play with 25 points, including five 3-pointers overall and 10 points in a key second-quarter run as the Red Riots (9-3) beat Cheverus 72-56 for their sixth win in seven games.

Emily Bolduc, Poland, senior guard: Scored 26 points, including a tying 3-pointer late in regulation in her team’s 61-54 overtime win against Fryeburg Academy. The team captain added 13 and 12 points in wins against Kennebunk and Waynflete as the Knights improved to 8-4.

 

AREA TOP 10

1. McAuley

2. Lake Region

3. Thornton Academy

4. South Portland

5. Wells

6. Greely

7. Portland

8. Gorham

9. Cheverus

10. Lincoln Academy

All indicators are the 5-foot-8 Scarborough High junior guard will reach that goal.

Briggs, 17, was recently offered a scholarship to attend Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., a member of the Division II Northeast-10 league.

“I haven’t committed yet, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to,” Briggs said Monday during a break in the Red Storm’s morning practice.

“Coach (Julie) Plant and (assistant) Coach (Amanda) Shannon are tremendous coaches and good people.”

Briggs has connections to the Saint Anselm program. Several cousins on her mother Alison (Kent) Briggs’ side attended the school and graduated with high honors.

Plant and Alison Briggs are both natives of Gorham.

Briggs has played for several years with the Maine Firecrackers’ AAU program, founded by her father, Don Briggs, and Brian Clement, usually playing an age group up with the likes of McAuley’s Olivia Smith and Allie Clement and Freeport’s Nina Davenport.

“I’ve been able to look up to them and through their experiences with the recruiting I’ve been able to go through the process at a younger age. They’ve been there to provide the inside scoop so that’s helped me,” Briggs said.

Ashley Briggs has already shown she can adapt to new situations.

She is currently playing for her third varsity basketball coach at Scarborough High; fourth if you count the summer workouts she had before her freshman season with Jim Seavey.

As a freshman playing for Tom Maines, Briggs was an undersized power forward.

Last year with Ron Cote as the head coach, she handled the point-guard role in a 16-4 season.

This year she is playing the two guard for Mike Giordano, who was hired after Cote resigned due to health issues.

“As an opposing coach I knew Ashley was a talented offensive player who really worked on defense,” said Giordano, formerly the South Portland coach. “What I’ve seen now, being her coach, is her day-to-day intensity and love for the game.”

Briggs said she has been fortunate to play for so many different coaches.

“Having multiple coaches has made me a better, more well-rounded basketball player. They’ve all taught me something,” Briggs said.

“Some people might think it’s bad to have four coaches in four years. I just look at it as more of a positive thing.”

Scarborough is 5-7 this season, ranked 12th in the Western Class A standings, with Briggs leading the team in scoring at more than 14 points per game.

Briggs sounded like a coach herself when she said, “These next two weeks are going to be really important. There’s still a ton of Heal points to be gained and once you make the tournament, anything can happen.”

BRIGGS IS the eighth member of the current Firecrackers program to receive a scholarship offer, Don Briggs said.

The only Firecracker players who have formally committed to a college are McAuley seniors Clement (Marist) and Smith (Dartmouth), though technically Dartmouth (like other Ivy League schools) does not offer athletic scholarships. As reported, Davenport declined an offer

Other Firecracker products who have been offered Division I or II scholarships are Greely junior Ashley Storey (University of New Hampshire), Bangor junior Mary Butler (Maine, Holy Cross), McAuley junior Victoria Lux (Bentley, Saint Anselm, Southern New Hampshire University) and McAuley sophomore Sarah Clement (UNH).

LINCOLN ACADEMY and Gorham crack the Area Top 10 list for the first time this season. With six straight wins, the Eagles are 9-2 after going 8-10 a year ago.

Lincoln, which plays a combo B-C Eastern schedule, has climbed to fifth in the crowded Western Class B standings.

Normally the Top 10 rankings are made based on games through the previous Saturday. However, Gorham’s upset of Thornton Academy on Monday afternoon could not be ignored.

Seeing is believing. The Rams’ motion offense, Abby Hamilton’s quick-release 3-point shooting and the all-around game of freshman Emily Esposito are Top 10 worthy.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at:

scraig@pressherald.com

Twitter: SteveCCraig

 

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