February 22

Western Class A girls’ basketball: McAuley wins fourth straight title

The top-ranked Lions take down Windham 50-28 in the regional final.

By Steve Craig scraig@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

It took well over a half, but McAuley senior guard Allie Clement finally found her range.

click image to enlarge

McAuley’s players celebrate as their team wraps up a 50-25 win over Windham in the Western Class A girls’ basketball championship game Saturday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Once she did, the Lions were off to their fourth straight Western Class A girls’ basketball title, beating Windham 50-28 Saturday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Clement scored 11 of her 23 points in the third quarter, including her first 3-pointer of the game with 20 seconds left, to push McAuley to a comfortable 34-13 lead. For the second year in a row, Clement was named the Edward “Red” McMann Award winner as the tournament’s outstanding player.

“It was tough. We definitely didn’t come out the way we wanted to and our shots weren’t falling in the first half,” Clement said. “You always kind of need to think next play.”

After a 2-for-12 start, Clement made seven of her final 11 shots.

“At halftime I thought she was being a little passive and I told her to be aggressive,” McAuley Coach Bill Goodman said. “She’s one of the best players maybe to ever play here, and I just wanted her to take it over.”

McAuley (20-1) will meet Eastern Maine champ Oxford Hills (17-4) at 4:05 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Center. McAuley has a chance to join Westbrook (1978-81) and Lawrence (1991-94) as the only schools to win four straight Class A girls’ state titles.

For the second night in a row, a player was taken out of the Civic Center on a backboard via ambulance.

Windham junior Luisa Sbardella ran into Olivia Smith while Smith was setting a screen near midcourt. Clement scored for a 40-20 lead with 5:19 left in the game.

Like Portland junior Elizabeth Donato the night before in a semifinal against McAuley, Sbardella stayed on her back while being attended to by athletic trainers until paramedics arrived.

“I think she’s going to be fine,” Windham Coach Brody Artes said after the game. “She was complaining of lower neck pain, and I think that’s why they took her. It was more precautionary than anything.”

Sbardella returned to the Civic Center within an hour.

Victoria Lux heated up in the fourth quarter for McAuley, making four of her last five attempts to finish with 14 points. No other McAuley player scored more than four.

Despite a 9:50 scoreless stretch and falling behind 12-2, No. 7 Windham (14-8) trailed only 19-13 at halftime because of its physical defense and eight blocked shots.

Sbardella made three straight shots, including two 3-pointers in the second quarter. She finished as Windham’s leading scorer with eight points.

Neither team scored in the first 2:09 of the third quarter until a bench technical was called against Windham. Clement made both free throws. On the ensuing possession, Smith converted an offensive rebound.

A 6-foot bank shot by Clement pushed the lead to 25-13. After that, Clement hit a pair of pull-up jumpers in transition, sandwiched around a nice spin move by Lux.

The sharp shooting was in stark contrast to the first half, when McAuley made 6 of 27 shots. Windham as 5 of 23.

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

scraig@pressherald.com

Twitter: SteveCCraig

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


 

Blogs

Clearing the Bases - Yesterday
Pitching, pitching, pitching

More PPH Blogs

Winter sports 2013-2014

High School Football 2013

Fall sports photos