BANGOR, Maine — Two years ago, the Southern Aroostook girls were the youngest team in the state, featuring a mixture of freshmen and eighth-graders.
The Warriors are still relatively young, as the team does not have a senior on its roster, but the maturity level has grown considerably for coach Cliff Urquhart’s squad.
No. 1 Southern Aroostook (18-2 overall) rolled past No. 5 Katahdin 73-41 Thursday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Center to advance to the Class D North basketball championship. The Warriors take on No. 2 Woodland (17-3) 9:05 a.m. Saturday. The two teams did not meet during the regular season.
Both Woodland and SACS’ only losses on the season were to Class C schools. The Dragons lost twice to Narraguagus of Harrington and once to Calais, while SACS’ two losses on the year were to Houlton.
Makaelyn Porter poured in 16 points to lead the Warriors, while Kassidy Mathers added 14, Kylie Vining had 13 and Sydney Brewer chipped in 12.
“When you have six girls who can score in double figures, it certainly makes it harder for teams to defend,” Urquhart said. “You can’t play a junk defense and even zone is difficult, because we are never dependent on one player.”
“The past two years we were unsuccessful, so I think this year we are really gunning for a championship,” Mathers said. “It would mean so much for us. We’ve been working for this goal since we were seven (years old).”
“I think we played really well, especially on defense,” added Vining. “Any girl out there can put up 10 or more points a game. It is so cool to play with such well-rounded players.
Katahdin of Stacyville, which ended with an 11-9 record, got off to a quick start, scoring the game’s first points on a jumper from Haley Landry. But after that it was all Southern Aroostook as the Warriors ripped off a 9-0 run to take command of the game and never looked back.
Haley Landry all players with 17 points for the Cougars. Madison Landry chipped in eight, and Natalie Rickards added seven for Katahdin.
“We’re proud of the fact that we were one of the final four (teams) in Class D North,” Katahdin coach Jona Fitzpatrick said. “We didn’t come out and play the way that I hoped they would, but I am proud of how far we have come this season.”
The Cougars and Warriors met twice during the regular season with Southern Aroostook picking up wins in both (70-26 at Stacyville and 57-25 at Dyer Brook to end the season).
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