Richmond captains Jamie Plummer, top, and Danica Hurley cut down the net after the Bobcats won the 2012 Western D championship at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Editor’s note: This is the latest installment of our series, “Remember When,” in which we revisit some of the memorable games, events, streaks and runs in high school spring sports we’ve covered over the last few decades.

RICHMOND — The Richmond girls basketball team has enjoyed plenty of strong seasons and runs during parts of the last few decades.

None were more impressive than the Richmond squads from 2011-13, which won three consecutive Western D championships.

The Bobcats didn’t take home any coveted Gold Balls — those went to powerful Washburn — but those teams still are regarded today as some of the best in program history.

“We would always be able to set the pace of the game against our opponents, but when we faced Washburn, they were the ones to set the pace,” said Ciarra Lancaster, who played for Richmond in each of those three seasons. “They played with a high amount of intensity that we weren’t able to overcome.”

Washburn would win Class D state titles from 2011-2015.

Lancaster and a handful of players played together from elementary school right up until graduation in 2013.

They were friends off the court and also enjoyed success in a variety of sports, including soccer, basketball and softball.

Richmond girls basketball coach Molly Bishop watches hers team during the 2011 Western D championship game at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“The connections that we had as a team on and off the court raised our game to a higher level,” Lancaster said. “Our chemistry was undeniable and helped us in key situations during our careers.”

Payton Johnson, a key guard during the Richmond run, also graduated in 2013.

“Being around those girls made the experience of playing on those teams even better,” Johnson said. “Nothing sticks out to me more than thinking about how much fun we would have together when we played with each other.”

Richmond earned the top seed heading into the postseason in two of those three seasons — it was the No. 2 seed behind Rangeley in 2013.

“I think it kind of became expected of us by the time our senior year rolled around,” said Noell Accord, who was a starting guard during the run. “Everyone in town was sort of shocked to see us not be the top seed in our senior year, but we didn’t let that get in the way of our overall goals, especially in our final season together.”

In 2011, the Bobcats handled the West with little trouble. They defeated No. 8 Hebron by 15 in the quarterfinals then No. 4 Greenville by 12 in the semis. Richmond knocked off No. 3 Valley in the final after the Cavaliers upset Rangeley in the other semifinal.

That set up the first meeting with Washburn.

“Our first time facing Washburn was a reality check,” said former standout forward Jamie Plummer. “Their defense and quickness was hard to match up with, and it showed in the final score.”

Washburn prevailed, 43-30.

The Bobcats came into the 2012 season with revenge on their minds and one goal in place.

They once again earned the No. 1 seed in the region. The Bobcats would handle No. 9 Buckfield and No. 4 Seacoast in the first two rounds, to set up a date with No. 2 Rangeley in the regional final.

“We knew that Rangeley was motivated because they wanted to face us the season before,” said Johnson. “We wanted to see them just as badly though.”

While the Lakers kept it close, the Bobcats pulled away and earned a 46-33 victory to set up the rematch with Washburn.

Richmond girls basketball players Jamie Plummer, left, Brooke Lancaster and Tara Hurley celebrate after they won the 2011 Western D championship game at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

However, the Bobcats were overpowered one again in states, losing to the Beavers 60-35.

“We got our butts kicked that night, they came to play and we didn’t that night,” said Plummer, who posted 14 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the loss.

In 2013, the Bobcats breezed through the opening rounds before meeting Rangeley in the regional final.

“Everyone talks about our rivalry with Washburn, but those Rangeley teams were tough and gave us two great games,” said Bri Snedeker, another key member of the team who graduated in 2013.

The Bobcats once again got the best of the Lakers, topping them 48-36. The victory set up a third consecutive title game against Washburn.

The Beavers handled the Bobcats 75-55 for their third straight title, leaving the Bobcats as the runner-ups one again.

Plummer saved her best for last in her final career game, bowing out with a game-high 22 points. Lancaster added 14.

“It’s a bummer that we weren’t able to get one, but those Washburn teams will go down as some of the best in state history,” Plummer said.

Plummer went on to play at the University of Maine-Augusta along former Washburn standout, Carmen Bragg.

Richmond players Alyssa Pearson, left, Danica Hurley, Jamie Plummer, Bri Snedeker and manager Kayla Hurley celebrate after the Bobcats won the 2012 Western D championship at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“Maine is one of the only places I know where rivals can become teammates just like that. We are actually really close friends now and our families are close,” Plummer explained. “It really came full circle.”

Molly Bishop, who is the athletic director at Oceanside High School in Rockland, coached the Bobcats during the run.

Bishop was unavailable for comment. .

“Coach Bishop was a great leader for us,” said Plummer. “We bought into her plan and she bought into our talent, it was kind of like a perfect match and we wouldn’t have had our success without Coach Bishop.”

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