February 15, 2013

EASTERN CLASS B GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Unbeaten Presque Isle the favorite

By Matt DiFilippo mdifilippo@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Winslow girls basketball coach Lindsey Welch has many stories about the Bangor Auditorium she could share with her players. The Black Raiders play Saturday in the Eastern B tournament, and Welch is holding off telling them about the atmosphere.

click image to enlarge

LOOSE BALL: Winslow High School’s Hannah Doble (24) and Nokomis High School’s Mikayla Charters (44) look for the rebound in a game earlier this season. The Black Raiders, the No. 13 seed, play No. 5 MDI in an Eastern B quarterfinal game Saturday. No. 3 Nokomis, meanwhile, plays No. 6 Belfast tonight.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans


at Bangor Auditorium

No. 6 Belfast vs. No. 3 Nokomis, 5 p.m.
No. 7 Camden Hills vs. No. 2 Oceanside, 6:30 p.m.
No. 9 Ellsworth vs. No. 1 Presque Isle, 3:05 p.m.
No. 13 Winslow vs. No. 5 MDI, 10:35 a.m.

More tournament coverage:

"I'm going to let them experience that for themselves when we walk in to the game before ours," Welch said with a smile. "I would like to head in first so I can see their expressions."

Winslow, the No. 13 seed, plays No. 5 Mt. Desert Island at 10:35 a.m., Saturday in the Eastern B quarterfinals. MDI is 16-2 this season, while Winslow is 7-12 after upsetting No. 4 Gardiner in a preliminary round game Tuesday. The Raiders feel that since no one expected them to still be playing anyway, there's no pressure.

"I think that was a mentality that our kids took with them onto that court (against Gardiner)," Welch said. "We have nothing to lose. That was our goal, was to make it to the Auditorium, and we've accomplished it. So whatever we do from here on out is amazing. I told the girls, 'Enjoy the ride.' "

Led by Hannah Shaw and Emily Lewis, MDI averages 58.8 points per game. Winslow's high for points in a game this season is 48, although Devin Fitzgibbons and Erica Bertolaccini are scoring threats for the Raiders.

No. 1 Presque Isle, the defending Class B state champion, must be considered the favorite in the bracket. The Wildcats are 18-0 and have been challenged only by MDI, a team Presque Isle defeated by scores of 55-46 and 54-40. Other than that, Presque Isle's closest game was 28 points.

Critics might say Presque Isle's schedule was far from challenging -- 12 of their 18 wins were either against teams with losing records, Class C schools, or both -- but on the other hand, the Wildcats also defeated Washington (8-10) this winter. Belfast, a strong No. 6 seed, got by Washington, 50-40, in the prelims, while Presque Isle defeated Washington by 45 points.

Presque Isle opens with No. 9 Ellsworth at 3:05 p.m., Saturday. The Wildcats handily defeated Ellsworth twice during the regular season.

No. 3 Nokomis and No. 6 Belfast open the tournament at 5 p.m., today. They met once during the regular season, with Belfast taking a 58-55 decision in Newport. Nokomis has one of the best rebounders in Class B in Anna MacKenzie, and she and Taylor Shaw head up a balanced scoring attack. Belfast's Lexi Nelligan, Courtney Drinkwater, and Katrina Lapham all hit for double figures in the win against the Warriors.

Today's other game is at 6:30 p.m., as No. 2 Oceanside faces No. 7 Camden Hills. The game features two 1,000-point scorers in Oceanside's Kennadi Grover and Camden Hills' Jordan Knowlton. Camden Hills defeated Hermon in the prelims, as Knowlton had 31 points and 19 rebounds.

Oceanside won both meetings against Camden this season -- 54-47 in Rockport, and 63-38 in the season finale in Rockland.

Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243


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