PORTLAND — Freeport senior guard Johanna Bogue-Marlowe felt that the time was right, a chance to make a play that her Falcons needed to survive a Class B South quarterfinal challenge from sixth-seeded Wells on Tuesday at the Portland Expo. 
Bogue-Marlowe made her move, stole a Warriors pass, and after being fouled, coolly drained two free throws with 7.4-seconds remaining to lift No. 3 Freeport to a 46-42 victory.
The Freeport girls basketball team heads to the semifinals next, where a matchup with No. 2 Poland awaits on Thursday at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland at 1 p.m.
Leading 44-36 with under one minute remaining in regulation, the Falcons appeared to have this one wrapped up. However, the Warriors had other ideas, drawing to within two points with 17.7 seconds remaining on a Franny Ramsdell bucket. 
Allie Goodman had a chance to close out Wells at the line, but the front end of her 1-and-1 free throw rimmed out, giving Wells a chance. Instead, Bogue-Marlowe read a bounce pass and stepped through, intercepting the attempt.
“We did not execute our end of game strategy at all, so thank goodness for Jo. Then to hit those two big free throws, wow,” said Freeport coach Mike Hart. “We knew if we hit some free throws it would be difficult for them to push back. But then we had two free throws go in and out, Allie had one go in and out. We needed a burst of energy and she made a great read off of that bounce pass, then made two free throws.”
“At the time, coach put me in for defensive reasons, and Caroline (Smith) had me step up and I baited it and let her pass it. It was just instinct,” said Bogue-Marlowe of her steal and subsequent free throws to clinch it. “I was super nervous after missing free throws earlier in the game. I tried to pretend that I was back on my home court, in practice, and concentrating on breathing.”
In a defensive struggle throughout, it was the Freeport defense that came up big, forcing 21 turnovers. Wells didn’t back down either, holding Freeport to just three second-quarter points. 
“Both teams hang their hat on that,” said Wells coach Don Abbott, who remembered his team’s 60-41 loss to Freeport during the regular season. “We took it as a personal afront that we gave up 60 to them. Greely got 47 against us. This game was going to be played in the 40s. The defensive intensity was there. Both teams do it in different ways. You saw kids diving all over, gong after the ball, taking charges, and it is something we pride ourselves on.”
“Wells was scrappy. I knew it was going to be a battle and it was,” said Hart.

Slow start

Freeport stuggled out of the gate, going more than two minutes without a point. Goodman’s bucket started the Falcons, who ran off 17 points for a 17-11 lead after a quarter. Megan Cormier came off the Falcon bench to score seven points in the frame and added three blocked shots, while Jessica Driscoll chipped in six points and three rebounds. 
The second quarter was a struggle for Freeport (15-4), which made just one field goal on 12 attempts and watched Wells come all the way back for a 22-20 halftime lead. Leah Tufts led the Warriors with seven first-half points, with Megan Schneider adding five. 
Hart felt that his team needed to pick up its perimeter shooting, leaning on Goodman and Smith to lead the way. 
“We needed their perimeter shooting, and when we are doing that we are very tough,” said Hart. “Driscoll is tough inside and Cormier is tough inside. Remember in that first half we scored a lot from the inside. Once they collapsed in, it was up to them to hit something from the outside.”
Goodman and Smith took over, combining for 11 third-quarter points as the Falcons rallied for a 33-31 lead heading to the fourth. 
“We knew that we had to pick it up and be more assertive,” said Goodman, who had 10 second-half points. 
Wells continued to hang around, taking the fight to Freeport, working hard on the floor in chasing down loose balls. 
“Two weeks ago, I thought we played tentative, played not to lose, where today I thought we played to win, laid it on the line and kept coming,” said Abbott. “There were a couple times where they could have gotten away from us. I felt like we answered those runs. To be down eight with less than a minute left and to cut it to two points says something. It was a fun game for them to play in and a fun game to coach in. It is what Maine high school basketball is all about.”
Smith added four more points in the fourth quarter, while Driscoll and Taylor Dostie each hit big shots to keep the Falcons in the lead. 
“This is a huge win for us, a huge step forward. It was a huge moment for us,” said Goodman, who discussed playing at the Expo. “This was a different environment and fun. We need to bring our intensity on Thursday and come out strong in the first half to set the tone.”
Goodman led Freeport with 12 points, six rebounds and three assists, while Smith added 11 points and three helpers, and Driscoll 10 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two assists. 
Schneider and Ramsdell each scored nine points to power Wells, with Tufts adding seven and Mackenzie Foss six points and four steals. Tufts had a team-high seven boards.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: