YORK — Marshwood High is used to routing its girls’ basketball opponents, averaging 53 points a game with a 23-point winning margin.

While the Hawks expected a tougher game Saturday against York, they didn’t figure on trailing 10-9 at halftime.

“Going into the half, we were shocked that we scored only nine points,” junior guard Nathalie Clavette said.

Marshwood regrouped, however, and beat the Wildcats, 35-27.

“Once girls started hitting shots, everyone got into it,” Clavette said.

The Hawks remained unbeaten at 11-0. York dropped to 5-4, including a 41-30 loss to Marshwood last month.

Forward Miranda Montgomery had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead Marshwood. Clavette hit three shots – the only outside baskets for the Hawks – including two 3-pointers, for eight points.

York guard Nina Howe led all scorers with 18 points, including four 3-pointers. She also had eight steals.

Howe pestered the Hawks, who committed nine turnovers in the first half and shot only 31 percent.

“We set the game back 50 years,” quipped Marshwood Coach Steve Freeman. “We didn’t hit anything in the first half.”

Freeman’s father, also named Steve Freeman, coaches York. The elder Freeman refused comment after the game.

His team put up a battle, despite not matching the Hawks’ size underneath, with the 5-foot-9 Montgomery and 5-11 Casey Perry. The Wildcats played a deliberate offense, but Howe said it was tough to get open looks.

“They are very good defensively,” Howe said. “Definitely one of the most aggressive teams we’ve played.”

The defense tightened even more in the third quarter, keeping York scoreless.

But the Hawks were still not running away. Montgomery’s putback gave them an 11-10 lead, which stayed that way for five minutes. Then two more putbacks – one each from Montgomery and Perry – a fast-break basket from Elora Montgomery (Miranda’s sister), and a banked-in jumper from Clavette made it 19-10 after three quarters.

Miranda Montgomery scored eight points in the fourth quarter. The Hawks shot 52 percent in the second half.

“We knew they don’t have much for size and we knew we had that advantage,” Marshwood’s Freeman said. “It took us a while to understand that was where we had to go.”

Two 3s by Clavette helped stretch the lead to 27-13, but then York rallied, as Howe scored 13 points in the fourth quarter.

“We knew Nina is very good, and we did a good job on her all day until the end,” Freeman said. “We lost her a few times, and she makes shots.”

York shot 18 percent for the game, however.

“Our defense is going really well, especially our communication on D,” Miranda Montgomery said. “And offensive, we’re doing a great job passing the ball around, having fun.”

Marshwood does not play the other top Class A South teams, Greely and Brunswick. The Hawks do have some Class AA teams on their schedule, including at Bonny Eagle on Monday, and a home game Feb. 6 against Maine Girls’ Academy.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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