Tuesday, March 11, 2014
By MARK JEANNERET Special to the Press Herald
SCARBOROUGH - Marissa MacMillan employed a pretty standard formula for early success Tuesday night. Gain offensive position under the basket. Catch. Pivot. Shoot.
"I just got the ball and I was on a roll and started making them," said MacMillan after scoring a game-high 20 points in leading Deering to a 48-41 victory over Scarborough in an SMAA Class A girls' basketball game at Alumni Gym. "I realized early that, 'Wow they were way down there and my arms were way up here'. So I just was tapping them in. Once I get one I can usually keep making them."
And roll MacMillan did. The 6-foot-4 center, listed in the program as 7 inches taller than any of her opponents, took advantage.
She scored the first 15 points of the game for the top-seeded Rams (11-1) off very similar plays -- Deering passing through the Red Storm press and MacMillan ending up with the ball under the hoop for a basket.
The Rams used the play to take a 15-8 lead early in the second quarter.
"The plan was to really run our offense and see what happens," said Deering Coach Mike Murphy.
"But yeah, she has such a huge advantage size-wise but she still had to finish it off and she did. It was good to see her get off to a start like that but I didn't realize it was 15 points."
Chelsea Saucier, scoring the first two of her 10 points, finally ended MacMillan's streak a minute into the second period, helping the Rams continue their roll. Deering outscored Scarborough 10-3 in the period for a 23-11 lead at halftime.
The Red Storm (9-2) came out to start the second half with a renewed focus and quickly got back into the game.
Ashley Briggs scored nine points in a 14-4 run that allowed Scarborough to move within two, 27-25 with 31/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
Deering led 29-26 heading into the fourth quarter.
"Especially in the third period we came out with a lot more energy and a lot more hustle than I think we did in the first half," said Scarborough Coach Ron Cote.
"We put a lot more pressure on them and tried to help (each other) more and that got us back into the game."
The Red Storm made it a one-point game twice in the fourth period, but each time Deering responded.
MacMillan, who managed just five points after her early exploits, and Saucier connected on key free throws down the stretch to preserve the victory.
The Rams, who have shot better than 72 percent from the line this season, hit 9 of 11 foul shots in the final stages of the game to secure the victory.
Briggs finished with 18 points -- 17 in the second half -- to lead the Red Storm.