Thursday, April 24, 2014
AUGUSTA — Hyde coach Richard Polgar says he has a plan to slow down Jamie Plummer and the No. 2 Richmond girls basketball team when the teams meet today in a Western D semifinal.
And he isn’t divulging details.
“We have a plan for how we’ll neutralize them,” he said. “But I’m not going to get into it. It’s a secret.”
It won’t be for long. The Bobcats (15-3) and Phoenix (17-1) will tip off at 10 a.m. today with a trip to the regional final at stake. Top-seeded Rangeley (18-1) will play Forest Hills (16-3) in the other semifinal at 11:30 a.m.
Richmond and Hyde did not meet in the regular season, which makes the showdown all the more intriguing.
The Phoenix dispatched Valley 48-28 in the quarterfinals, with Kara Fischer and Katie Comeaux doing most of the damage. The pair combined for 33 points and they’ll need another big game today for Hyde to advance.
The Phoenix will also have to handle Richmond’s relentless ball pressure, as well as find a way to slow the 6-foot forward Plummer. She scored 35 points in the quarterfinal win over Greenville.
“She’s tough,” Polgar said. “We’ll have to slow her down.”
Added Richmond coach Molly Bishop: “We’ll have to use our size to our advantage. It will also be interesting to see how they handle our backcourt pressure. I think that could be a challenge for them.”
Guards Payton Johnson, Brianna Snedeker and Noell Acord played tough defense against Greenville on Monday. The trio combined for just 10 points, but they created turnovers and disrupted Greenville’s offense.
Bishop hopes to see more of the same this morning.
“We’ll do our thing,” she said. “We’re not going to change things up tremendously.”
Rangeley sank Forest Hills 46-32 in the regular-season meeting Feb. 2. The Lakers controlled the paint then and they’ll look to do it again today.
“There’s no secret to what we’ll try and do,” Rangeley coach Heidi Deery said. “We’ll try to get the ball inside.”
Taylor Esty, Blayke Morin and Emina Gunic all stand 6-feet or taller and provide the Lakers with plenty of options in the post. Esty scored 13 points in a quarterfinal win over Islesboro Central on Tuesday morning.
“We’ll just have to get the ball inside and open up the outside,” she said.
Jocelyn Hoyt scored 19 points and Anna Carrier added 11 for the Tigers in their quarterfinal win over Greater Portland Christian.
Forest Hills didn’t shoot particularly well in that game and Deery expects that to change today.
“I don’t think we saw their best game,” she said. “We know what they can do.”
Bill Stewart — 621-5640