The Richmond girls basketball team felt a little out of sync last year when it played Washburn for the Class D state championship at the Bangor Auditorium.

“Last year it was our first time ever stepping on that court,” Richmond senior Danica Hurley said.

Washburn won that game 43-30 as the Bobcats never got untracked. Today they play Washburn again for the title, but at the Augusta Civic Center, a court they’ve played on many times.

“We certainly didn’t show our best side (last year),” Richmond coach Molly Bishop said. “Those kids took the loss to heart and had the opportunity to build on it.”

While the Bobcats hope to get the ball down low to 5-foot-11 junior Jamie Plummer (18 points, 8 rebounds a game) and 6-foot Alyssa Pearson, the Beavers want to run. They press man-to-man the whole game to force both tempo and turnovers.

“Pretty much that’s all we’ve done,” Washburn coach Mike Carlos said. “Our team is go, let’s run. The faster we can run, the happier I am.”

The Beavers graduated Rebecca Campbell who scored 22 points in the state championship game but they return many of the young players who led their aggressive defense, including sophomores Carsyn Koch and Carmen Bragg. Also back are sophomore Nicole Olson and juniors Rayah Saucier and Olivia Doody.

The Beavers don’t have a senior on their roster but do have seven freshmen including Mackenzie Worcester who leads the team in scoring at 22 points a game.

“She shoots a lot of layups,” Carlos said.

Worcester also shoots 3-pointers and averages 47 percent from behind the arc. Bragg is the team’s other double-figure score at 14 ppg.

“They’re really quick and they play tenacious defense,” said Hurley who watched the Beavers avenge their only loss by beating Van Buren in the regional semifinal.

Hurley, who is Richmond’s point guard, will play a key role in helping the Bobcats get past Washburn’s press and set up their offense. Bri Snedeker and Noell Acord also start in Richmond’s three-guard offense.

Plummer, who was named the Western Maine Class D tournament’s outstanding player, has had help in the paint this year from Pearson, who averages 8.6 points and 7.7 rebounds a game.

“I can’t be more pleased with her progress this year,” Bishop said.

The state championship appearance in the seventh in nine attempts in soccer, basketball and softball for this year’s group of Richmond juniors.

“We have nothing to lose,” Plummer said. “We’re going to leave it all on the floor and play our hardest. This week is killing us. We all just want to play.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

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