POLAND — Lake Region isn’t the biggest girls basketball team in Maine, but its effort is up there with the best.  

Lewiston senior forward Maddy Foster (15) gets set to take a shot as Windham sophomore Sarah Talon (12) intervenes during a basketball game in Lewiston on Friday night. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

On Friday night, the Lakers dominated inside and finally had a good shooting night from deep, something they’d been missing this season, and were able to defeat Poland, 50-29.  

Lake Region (6-10) out-rebounded Poland (4-12) 18-9 in the second half, including eight offensive boards. Lakers guard Shauna Hancock said it’s all because of the effort her team put forth in the paint.  

“Two of our smallest guards out-rebounded both of our bigs today,” Hancock said. “It has nothing to do with size, it’s just all heart and wanting it more. I think over any other team we have more heart.” 

Hancock found herself grabbing rebounds, as was guard Melissa Mayo, who had three offensive rebounds in the third quarter alone.  

Liza Smith and Elle Hall both scored after grabbing offensive rebounds under the rim and Lake Region was able to make a 28-11 halftime lead into a 43-21 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. 

“I think the mentality was just that rebounding is an effort thing,” Lake Region coach Paul True said. “We are typically not the bigger team so we want to be relentless on the backboard and we want to get at least three to the ball on every shot, and I thought the kids played with great effort tonight.” 

Lewiston sophomore forward Rhiannon Patrie (32) goes up for a shot as Windham freshman guard Abbey Thornton (13) tries to block Patrie’s shot as Lewiston’s Jordyn Rubin (25) looks on during a basketball game in Lewiston on Friday night. TonyBlasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Prior to its big third quarter, Lake Region made it rain 3-pointers in the second, which led to a 19-5 quarter before halftime.  

Mayo hit a 3-pointer from the right corner to put the Lakers up 15-6 with 4:45 remaining in the first half, then the next possession Shelby-Lynn Sheldrick added another from the left wing. Mayo went on to hit one more in the quarter. She finished the game with nine points. 

Seven players scored for Lake Region in the second quarter, while Poland didn’t find a basket until there were three minutes left in the half. Emma Gagne hit two free throws to make it 22-8 and later Emma Williams hit a pull-up jumper followed by a free throw by Emma Bunyea, who finished the half with a team-high six points. Bunyea also added five rebounds in the first half.  

(Poland) came out on fire and kudos to them, they shot the ball well tonight,” Poland coach Tim Dolley said. 

Hancock hit her lone 3-pointer with 3:10 left in the first half from four feet behind the 3-point line from straight on. The junior said she had some help from the Poland student section. 

“I have to get them to step out at me because normally I don’t shoot 3s, that’s not my go-to, I am usually more of a driver,” Hancock said. “Their fan section was yelling shoot it,’ so I needed them to step up to me so I could drive and get fouls, so I thought I’d just let that one rip.” 

Hancock led all scorers with 13 points, while Smith added 10 points to the Lakers’ total.  

Poland’s Kayle Paradis, Sophie Vallee and Allie Ferland all scored four points in the second half for the Knights. Bunyea led all Poland scorers with six total points.  

“Lake Region played well,” Dolley said. “They came out and executed better than us tonight. I was very happy with our effort and our emotion tonight, just playing hard.  

Lake Region was able to stay patient in the fourth quarter and keep Poland at bay. The win helps the Lakers, who are eyeing a playoff spot with two games remaining.  

“It was definitely a lot of confidence for us, especially going into two big games that decide if we are going into the playoffs or not,” Hancock said. “I think that helps us as a team. It is also good for us when we are making shots because it builds on our team chemistry, because we are all so happy for each other and people’s individual accomplishments and our team as a whole.” 

Comments are not available on this story.