February 15, 2013

EASTERN CLASS A GIRLS' BASKETBALL: EL leads wide open field

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Edward Little coach Craig Jipson isn't guilty of false modesty when he calls this year's Eastern Maine Class A girls tournament wide open.

click image to enlarge

BIG NUMBERS: Cony High School’s Josie Lee, right, led the KVAC A in rebounding. She leads the Rams into a quarterfinal matchup with top-ranked Edward Little today at the Augusta Civic Center.

Staff file photo by Andy Molloy

EASTERN A QUARTERFINAL
Friday
at Augusta Civic Center

No. 9 Cony vs. No. 1 Edward Little, 8:30 p.m.
No. 5 Mt. Blue vs. No. 4 Lawrence, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Oxford Hills vs. No. 3 Mt. Ararat, 3 p.m.
No. 7 Skowhegan at No. 2 Bangor, 4:30 p.m.

More tournament coverage:

Every school in the eight-team field has beaten one of the others in the tournament and no team has less than three losses, including Jipson's No. 1 seeded Red Eddies. He knows they'll be in a dogfight Friday against No. 9 Cony in the final game of the quarterfinal round at the Augusta Civic Center.

"It's going to come down to who gets hot at the right time," said Jipson, whose team split a pair of games against Cony during the regular season. "(We) think it's going to be a really tough game."

The rest of the first-round matchups are equally intriguing. In the opening game of the session at 3 p.m., No. 3 Mt. Ararat faces No. 6 Oxford Hills. Each team won a game this season on the other's home court. No. 7 Skowhegan lost twice to No. 2 Bangor during the regular season but only by three points in their last meeting while No. 4 Lawrence squeaked out a pair of wins against its first-round opponent, No. 5 Mt. Blue.

"We know each other pretty well," Lawrence coach John Donato said. "I think the key is to control their three best players -- (Abby) Hilton, (Miranda) Nicely and (Gabby) Foy. We're very similar teams."

Donato was named Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference North Division Coach of the Year after leading his Bulldogs to a 13-5 record a year after going 2-16. It helped that he had the KVAC North player of the year in 6-foot freshman Nia Irving, who averaged 19 points and 13 rebounds a game.

"She's just played so much basketball," Donato said. "Her basketball knowledge is outstanding."

Still, the Bulldogs are young without a senior on the team and face a Mt. Blue team with 10 returning players, many of whom lifted themselves from the depths two years ago much like Lawrence did this season.

Most of the teams in the tournament start a tall post player or two, with notable exceptions in Cony and Edward Little. Both teams like to shoot 3-pointers and have outstanding players. Edward Little's Ashlee Arnold was named KVAC South Division Player of the Year while Cony's Josie Lee led the conference in rebounding despite standing just 5-8.

"They've got a lot of offensive threats," Cony coach Karen Magnusson said. "They're No. 1 for a reason. I think they've got the most talent out of any of the teams."

Added Jipson: "I think the key is whoever can shoot a little bit better. Sometimes in the Civic Center teams don't shoot quite as well."

Gary Hawkins -- 621-5638

ghawkins@centralmaine.com

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at OnlineSentinel.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


High School Football 2013

Fall Sports 2012

Purchase Photos

Find more photos >>