February 17, 2013

WESTERN CLASS D QUARTERFINALS: Bobcats, Lakers ready for showdown

By Matt DiFilippo mdifilippo@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Once again, everything is set up for a Rangeley-Richmond rematch in the Western D girls basketball final. Once again, Rangeley coach Heidi Deery is having none of it.

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GIVE IT TO ME: Richmond’s Jamie Plummer, right, pulls the ball away from Rangeley’s Jenney Abbott in an earlier game. The Bobcats and the Lakers are on a collision course in the Western Class D tournament.

Staff file photo by Andy Molloy

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“Like I say every year, there’s a reason why they have the tournament,” said Deery, whose Lakers are the No. 1 seed. “If not, they’d just send the plaque to the first-place team in the mail. No. 1’s great, but that was last week. We don’t care about being No. 1 in the regular season. We care about being No. 1 when the whole thing’s over and done with.”

No. 2 Richmond, which split two regular-season meetings with Rangeley, has won the regional title in each of the last two seasons. Star center Jamie Plummer and the Bobcats open with No. 7 Greenville at 11:30 a.m., today. Richmond swept Greenville by scores of 49-21 and 59-31 in the regular season.

“We need to attack their zone definitely a little better than we did up there,” Richmond coach Molly Bishop said. “I think it was a good eye-opener when they played Rangeley to (within) seven points the last game of the season. Anybody that can play Rangeley to seven points, we don’t want to overlook.”

Today’s first game has No. 3 Hyde facing No. 6 Valley. Hyde, which finished 0-16 last season, defeated the Cavaliers twice this winter — 48-16 in Bath and 52-42 in Bingham. Valley coach Mike Rowe said his players were likely intimidated by Hyde’s height in the first meeting. In the second game, Valley played without starting center Megan Hunnewell, but still rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to get as close as four in the fourth quarter.

“When we went to Hyde, we kind of went the wrong way and didn’t get there until 10 minutes before game time,” Rowe said. “When they came to us, we had some really good practices. We played a totally different way.”

No. 4 Forest Hills takes on No. 5 Greater Portland Christian at 10 a.m., Tuesday. Forest Hills’ only losses this season are to Valley by five points and Rangeley and Richmond, by 13 points apiece. The Tigers have no one taller than 5 foot 6 and like to get up and down the floor, while GPC is led by senior guards Elaine Beech and Kim Dawson.

“They have beat some of the teams that we have played by about the same margin,” Forest Hills coach Mike LeBlanc said. “But the teams that they’ve lost to, they’ve lost pretty big.”

The last quarterfinal is at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, as Rangeley plays No. 8 Islesboro. They haven’t met this season, but Rangeley defeated the Eagles 48-20 last season and both teams have similar personnel this winter. Islesboro has played competitive against Greenville, Hyde, and Valley.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

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