Deer Isle—The girls basketball team beat Greenville on January 2, 44-24. We got off to a fast start, leading 12-4 after one quarter and 28-8 by the half. We stretched our lead to 40-13 after three quarters, and Coach Randy Shepard was able to put in the younger players in the fourth quarter so they could get valuable experience.
We will be tested this week with tough games against George Stevens and Machias. How we do facing them will be an indicator of where we are right now.
This was a team that we beat handily before but they were ready for defending Lily Gray with a 1-3-1 defense to limit her looks from beyond the arc. That was OK because she was able to pass inside and we scored from there. Making adjustments is a tactic good teams need to do when they give up points to a certain player. Ally Eaton led us with 24, Orly Vaughan 6, and Natalie Knowlton, Jesslyn Gove, and Ashley Haskell each had 4.
Then, on January 4, the girls avenged an earlier loss by beating Sumner 37-33. This was a close game all the way as we led Sumner at half time 24-19 after an even first quarter. We kept that lead through the third quarter, leading 24-19, but Sumner rallied back to lead by two points with three minutes left in the game. We tied it back up and then Ashley Haskell hit a pivotal three-pointer to put us up with a minute left. With less than 30 seconds, she hit one foul shot to make it a two-possession game. That was all we needed.
Coach Shepard mentioned that we pressed them well and handled their press without a lot of turnovers, which hurt us the first time we met them. Ally Eaton led us with 21 points and Ashley Haskell had 8. It was the defense that won this game, not the offense.
The girls are now 3-5 and have climbed into eighth place, with 10th being the last playoff position in the new Class D alignment. It is too early to make much of the standings, but we have begun to win games. The key is how we deal with the press and turnovers. We will be tested this week with tough games against George Stevens and Machias. How we do facing them will be an indicator of where we are right now.