January 14

Girls' basketball: Wells tops York with a strong second half

The Warriors trail by two at halftime, but build a 10-point lead by the fourth quarter for a 37-31 win.

By Steve Craig scraig@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

YORK — Nicole Moody knew two things when she looked at the scoreboard at halftime and saw her Wells High girls’ basketball team had just 13 points.

She needed to be more aggressive with her offense. And on the plus side, York only led by two.

Moody took care of business, scoring seven points in the third quarter. Fellow senior Alison Furness, also bottled up in the first half, scored seven and Wells gradually built a 10-point lead midway through the fourth quarter in Tuesday’s 37-31 Western Maine Conference win at Butler Gymnasium.

“Everybody’s going to give us their best punch every game. It gets a little tougher every once in awhile but we find a way to win,” Moody said.

Wells improved to 10-1 to keep pace with Lake Region atop Western Class B.

York is 7-4.

In its season opener, Wells beat York, 57-38.

“We certainly played a much better defensive game than we did the first (meeting). Offensively we sputtered,” York Coach Rick Clark said.

Moody finished with 11 points and Furness scored 10 on a night when Wells made just 6 of 21 free throws.

York’s Shannon Todd scored six of her team-high 11 points in the fourth quarter. York guard Paige McElwain and center Chloe Smedley each scored nine points. McElwain was a disruptive force at the top of York’s zone.

Aided by Wells’ struggles at the free-throw line, York slowly built a 13-6 lead as Smedley worked inside for consecutive baskets, forcing a Wells timeout with 3:16 left in the half.

“I just said to them, you haven’t played very well and you’re only down seven points. Let’s just start chipping away,” Wells Coach Don Abbott said.

Kaitlyn Tufts banked in a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession and York’s inability to box out on Wells’ free-throw misses led to two more baskets, cutting York’s lead to 15-13 at the half.

“We had a good thing going, we gave up a couple easy baskets and gave them a little momentum and allowed them to think they could get back in it,” Clark said.

“It was a killer. We outplayed them for most of the first half and had very little to show for it.”

Moody and Furness had scoring plays on drives to the basket to combine for the final eight points of the third quarter and a 27-22 lead.

“Last game I struggled a lot being assertive and taking it, and I just tried to focus on taking my role on and taking it to the hoop,” Moody said.

Stephanie Woods got in on the act for a similar hoop early in the fourth, with Sophie Lamb contributing an offensive putback.

Wells usually has five seniors on the court but it was freshman reserve point guard Ally O’Brien who beat McElwain off the dribble, got to the free-throw area and hit Jordan Agger with a crisp bounce pass for a 34-24 lead with 5:37 to play.

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

scraig@pressherald.com

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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