March 1, 2013

Class A girls' basketball: Gain comes through pain for McAuley's star guard

Allie Clement takes off her walking boot to play, and has her team in the state final despite the injury.

By Mike Lowe mlowe@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Allie Clement of McAuley knows her right foot isn’t broken, but is waiting until the season ends for an MRI.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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CLASS A GIRLS STATE FINAL

WHO: McAuley (21-0) vs Bangor (17-4)

WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Augusta Civic Center

TELEVISION: Time Warner Channel 9

MCAULEY STARTERS

Molly Mack, F (3.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.1 apg)

Olivia Smith, C (9.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.3 apg)

Allie Clement, G (17.2 ppg, 2.6 apg, 2.6 spg)

Victoria Lux, F (9.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.3 bpg)

Jaclyn Welch, G (8.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.7 spg)

KEYS FOR MCAULEY

Bangor provides the biggest challenge of the year for the Lions. The Rams have inside height -- Stewart is 6-foot-2 and Butler 6-1 -- but can also get out and run. McAuley, winner of the last two state crowns (and 4-4 in eight previous title games), will need to slow Bangor, either by pressing or hitting shots. McAuley's defense allows just 32.4 points per game. Offensively, McAuley would like to run more than it has in the playoffs so far. It also needs to attack the basket and get Bangor's bigs in foul trouble. Look for Smith and Lux to become a little more involved, although you cannot simply allow the Clements -- Allie and freshman sister Sarah -- and Welch to have open 3-point looks. As a team, McAuley hits 37.4 percent of its 3-pointers.

BANGOR STARTERS

Denae Johnson, G (12.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.1 apg)

Jordan Seekins, G (4.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.9 apg)

Rachel Taft, F (3.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.5 apg)

Mary Butler, F (12.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 2.5 apg)

Cordelia Stewart, C (15.0 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 3.5 bpg)

KEYS FOR BANGOR

Bangor, making its first championship-game appearance since 1982 (and third overall), needs to maintain its composure early against McAuley's experience and pressure. Bangor needs to play its game, get out on the fast break, go hard to the basket and make shots. The Rams move the ball as well as any team in the state and always look to get the ball inside. Stewart goes hard to the boards, Johnson is fearless and will challenge anyone, Butler sees the floor and passes like a guard. Defensively, Bangor cannot allow McAuley to get second chances. The Lions are relentless on the offensive boards, and the Rams need to box out and play fundamental defense.

-- Mike Lowe

The Lions truly believe their team is a family. And they are not going to let anyone down.

"It's very important to us," said Mack. "You don't win games if you're not a close team. We're a bunch of goofballs off the court. When it comes on the court, we have each other's backs. It's like we have one heart."

Goodman admits that a lot of what McAuley does these days is dependent on how Clement feels. The Lions aren't pressing full-court as much as they normally do because that puts a strain on her with the turning and pushing off. But he said that's opened up other options, such as Victoria Lux and Olivia Smith inside, or Welch, Olivia Delphonse or Sarah Clement -- Allie's freshman sister -- on the perimeter.

"Each game is different," said Goodman. "We've tried to manage it the best we can."

Clement had an X-ray a couple weeks back. It didn't show any break. She will have an MRI as soon as she can next week. She didn't have one earlier, she said, "because we really didn't want to know what's wrong. We wanted to wait until after the season to find out. There was no way I was going to stop halfway through the season."

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

mlowe@pressherald.com

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

 

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