Thursday, December 5, 2013
BY GARY HAWKINS Staff Writer
AUGUSTA -- For the first half of Monday's Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A girls championship game, it appeared Edward Little had found the way to knock off unbeaten Cony.
HIT THE DECK: Cony High School’s Amelia Diplock, left, and Edward Little’s Kelly Philbrook scramble for the ball during the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A championship game Monday in Augusta. Cony won 58-49.
DIVE: Cony High School’s Josie Lee, left, blocks Edward Little High School’s Kory Norcross Monday during the KVAC championship basketball game in Augusta.
The Red Eddies settled into their matchup zone and forced the Rams to shoot from the outside. At the other end of the floor, they took the ball to the hoop and drew fouls. It added up to a one-point lead at the half that evaporated in the third quarter.
Cony got its fastbreak going, ran off 13 straight points and pulled away to a 58-49 win, its third against the Red Eddies this season.
"We were worried about turnovers," Cony senior Mia Diplock said of the first half. "And pushing the ball up the court because we tend to be faster than them. And we were getting outrebounded."
The Rams addressed all three issues in the second half. Diplock, who was named KVAC South Player of the Year, played a huge role in the outcome. The senior point guard finished with a game-high 24 points, five rebounds and four assists.
"She's just such a great player," Edward Little coach Craig Jipson said. "She's played well against us every game,"
Diplock had plenty of help. Josie Lee scored 12 points and kicked off the critical third-quarter run with a layup and assist to Melanie Guzman for another layup.
Diplock followed with a steal for a score, then Bethany Elwell drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the circle. Diplock added a layup and Lee two free throws to cap a run from which the Eddies didn't recover.
"Your transition really stems from your defense," Cony coach Karen Magnusson said. "That naturally came with the flow of the game because we were able to make some stops."
The Eddies pressed and made a late run at the lead, drawing to within 53-46 with a little more than a minute left. Sophomore Kory Norcross led the Eddies with 18 points while Ashlee Arnold scored 15.
The Rams got a strong game from Emily Sanford, who scored 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter, and grabbed seven rebounds.
Cony and Edward Little will enter this weekend's Eastern Maine Class A tournament at the Augusta Civic Center seeded first and second, respectively, and could meet in the finals.
"We'd like another shot at them," Jipson said.
Added Diplock: "We've beaten them three times which gives us a little more confidence, but that doesn't mean we'll beat them the fourth time. Hopefully we will see them again. They're a great team."
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In addition to Diplock, the All-KVAC girls first team included Arnold from Edward Little, Cony's Lee, Abbie Eastman of Oxford Hills and Mt. Ararat's Mallory Nelson. Magnusson was named South Coach of the year. The North division first team included Player of the Year Amanda Johnson of Skowhegan, Messalonskee's Mary Badeen and Megan Pelletier, Mt. Blue Gabby Foy and Hampden's Jordan Maxwell. Mt. Blue's Tom Philbrick was named Coach of the year.
Gary Hawkins -- 621-5638