February 5, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL: Versatile Warriors get win

By Matt DiFilippo mdifilippo@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

WINSLOW -- If you look at Saturday's game against Maranacook and Tuesday's game with Winslow, you realize just how versatile the Nokomis girls basketball team is on offense.

click image to enlarge

TURNOVER: Nokomis High School's Taylor Shaw (32) gets the ball stripped as Winslow High School's Erica Bertolaccini (5) and Morgan Clark (32) defend in the second quarter Tuesday in Winslow.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

On Saturday, Nokomis overpowered Maranacook inside as Anna MacKenzie and Taylor Shaw combined for 35 points. MacKenzie and Shaw were each held to six against Winslow, but the Warriors shot over Winslow's zone and posted a 49-25 victory.

The Winslow coaches were at the Maranacook game, and the Black Raiders used a zone with sagging help on MacKenzie inside. In the first half, Nokomis had 25 field goal attempts -- 16 3s, and two more just inside the 3-point line.

"I am perfectly OK with that," Nokomis coach Michelle Paradis said. "We have been doing tons and tons of shooting drills in our practices, because the more shots we make outside, the easier it is for our post people to then work the ball into the post and get shots that way."

Nokomis (15-2) is probably assured of a bye to the Bangor Auditorium, while this was Winslow's last chance to get some major Heal points and secure one of the final playoff spots. Nokomis led 12-2 after one quarter, and held Winslow without a field goal until Alyssa Wood hit a 3-pointer to make it 14-5 with 6:25 left in the half.

That sparked the Raiders (6-11), who got as close as 15-10 and 17-12 behind baskets by Erica Bertolaccini (nine points) and Devin Fitzgibbons (seven). But from there, Nokomis guard Kelsie Richards made back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Warriors an 11-point lead. Mikayla Charters threw in an 18-foot banker at the buzzer, and Nokomis was up 25-14 at halftime.

"They did exactly what we needed to on Mackenzie," Winslow coach Lindsey Welch said. "It's just that everybody else on the team stepped up for Nokomis."

The game got away from Winslow in the third quarter, and Nokomis led 47-19 when Welch called timeout with about three minutes left. The Raiders were noticeably more aggressive after that and responded with six straight points before Nokomis guard Lacey Kent-Webber drove for a layup at the buzzer.

"I just talked to them in the locker room," Welch said. "They're hanging their heads, but the last three minutes is the way we can play basketball."

Winslow is trying to hold off Medomak Valley for the final spot in Eastern B. Winslow has Waterville on Thursday in the season finale, and could sneak ahead of Caribou with that win. But if Medomak can beat Lincoln in its final game, the Panthers could sneak into the tournament.

"Two games in the season, Medomak and Lincoln Academy, we lost, and I think we could have pulled out a W, and those two teams are haunting us," Welch said. "They play the last game of the season and we'll know more then. But I keep telling the girls, we play our game, that's all we can worry about and control is our own game right now."

Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243



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