Dragons can’t make that final push, 59-51
Monday’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference matinee had the makings of a big day for the Brunswick High School girls basketball team, going against Skowhegan, the second ranked team in Eastern Maine Class A.
The Dragons, after coming close throughout the opening half, finally took the lead on a quick 5-0 run and had the momentum in a game they desperately needed with the Eastern A playoffs less than one month away.
But, Brunswick reverted to its season long struggles of turning the ball over and allowing offensive rebounds for easy, uncontested layups in a 59-51 loss.
The setback drops the Dragons, who stand at No. 11 in Eastern A, two spots out of the playoffs, to 4-7, with things getting no easier as undefeated and Eastern A top dog Cony is slated to pay a visit on Friday. Skowhegan improved to 9-1.
“We just got out of what we were doing, with unforced turnovers and not contesting on the inside,” said Brunswick coach Sam Farrell, whose team was outrebounded by the taller Indians 31-21.
Morgan Buker led the way off the glass for Skowhegan with 11 caroms, including six offensive boards and putbacks for 12 of her 20 points. “We played hard for 32 minutes, but the height, which we don’t have, hurts us, especially when you don’t put a body on her (Buker),” added Farrell.
Buker, a sophomore, played in the jayvee game, but stepped up big time once entering the varsity contest midway through the first quarter. She scored eight points, pulled down six rebounds and blocked a shot as Skowhegan claimed a 16-11 lead.
Brunswick stayed in the game thanks to long-distance shooting from Lyse Henshaw, who nailed a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter and added three more in the second half on the way to a team-high 17 points.
“I’m getting open and getting the ball,” said Henshaw. “As the season has progressed, my shot has gotten better.”
The sophomore guard, who also scored 17 in Friday’s overtime loss to Hampden Academy, feels her team is close to being good and finishing the season strong.
“I think we have the potential to be real good, but we need to put it all together,” said Henshaw. “ Every game we have a spurt where we are not all together.”
The struggles begin
Brunswick’s lapse came in the third quarter. After Henshaw drilled a trey and Julia Champagne converted two free throws for a 28-27 Dragons lead with 4:58 left in the quarter, Skowhegan took advantage of seven Brunswick turnovers while rolling off an 11-1 run for a 38-29 lead. Buker scored six points during the spurt, with the Indians leading 38-32 through 24 minutes.
Skowhegan’s advantage grew to a game-high 12 points, 50-38, early in the fourth behind the play of guard Amanda Johnson, who matched Buker with 20 points, dished out six assists and had five steals.
Andrea Quirion completed two three-point plays on back-to-back possessions, scoring all six of her points down the stretch.
Brunswick made one final push, going on a 10-4 run to close to 54-48. But, Johnson finished off a 2-on-1 passing play with Buker, with the pair hooking up one last time for another Buker bucket.
Liz Faulkner had a solid allaround game for Brunswick with 16 points, eight rebounds, five steals and four assists.
Champagne added 10 points and four steals, while Mel Bryant had seven points and a like number of rebounds.
The Dragons shot 35 percent (18 of 51) from the floor and finished nine of 15 from the charity stripe.
Skowhegan shot 51 percent (27 of 53) and forced 22 Brunswick turnovers. The Indians were four of 15 from the line.
|Skowhegan||— 16||8||14||21 — 59|
|Brunswick||—||11||10||11||19 — 51|
Skowhegan — Amanda Johnson 9-1-20, Adriana Martineau 5-1-11, Morgan Buker 10-0-20,
Taylor Johnson 1-0-2, Natasha Thompson 0-0-
0, Chelsey Whittemore 0-0-0, Andrea Quirion 2-
2-6, Desiree Brochu 0-0-0, MaKenzie Richardson 0- 0- 0, Alanna Atkinson 0- 0- 0, Megan
Perkins 0-0-0, Mikayla Bolduc 0-0-0, Rhiannon
LaPlante 0-0-0. Totals — 27-4-59.
Brunswick — Lauren Carlton 0-0-0, Julia Champagne 4-2-10, Lyse Henshaw 6-0-17, Liz Faulkner 5-5-16, Mel Bryant 3-1-7, Anna Dimick 0-1-1,
Libby Arford 0-0-0, Sasha Hampton 0-0-0, Jessica Libby 0-0-0. Totals — 18-9-51.
3-pointers — (S) Johnson; (B) Henshaw 5,
Records — Skowhegan 9-1, Brunswick 4-7.
Next for the Dragons — Friday at home against
Cony, 7 p.m.