HERMON, Maine – Two of the favorites to represent Class B North in the state schoolgirl championship game squared off in Hermon on Thursday night and it was a sister act that decided the contest.
Senior guard Madelynn Emerson scored a game-high 16 points and sophomore sister Makayla scored eight of her nine in the second half as Old Town earned a 52-41 triumph over defending B North titleist Hermon.
Hermon had ousted Old Town in the Class B North semifinals in the 2019-20 season.
Old Town improved to 3-0 while Hermon fell to 2-1.
“[The Emersons] had been struggling with their shots a little but tonight they found them,” said Old Town coach Heather Richards. “Hopefully, it stays with them. They are a great tandem offensively and defensively.”
“We’ve worked on moving the ball a lot,” said Madelynn Emerson, who nailed four 3-pointers on seven attempts. “My teammates were setting screens for me and I was launching shots and they fell tonight.”
Old Town used a 14-5 run in the third period to build an eight-point lead and Hermon couldn’t get any closer than six the rest of the way as Old Town went 12-for-14 from the free throw line in the second half.
Madelynn Emerson triggered the rally by driving the middle of the lane for a basket and Sydney Loring hit a pair of free throws to make it 23-20.
After Allie Cameron hit a runner for Hermon, Makayla Emerson hit a three from the left side and Loring fed Sage Evans for an 11-foot jumper to make it 28-22.
Meg Tracy fed Maddie Lebel for a 3-pointer to slice the lead to 28-25 but a Lexi Thibodeau basket and another Makayla Emerson three swelled the lead to 33-25, Old Town’s largest of the game.
“We moved the ball a lot better in the second half and I was able to get my shot off,” said Makayla Emerson.
“They got free for some threes in the second half and they hit them,” said Hermon coach Chris Cameron.
“We gave them a little too much space. We’ve got to play them harder defensively next time,” said Hermon senior forward Elizabeth Wyman.
Old Town took a seven-point lead into the final quarter and the Emerson sisters scored seven points during a 9-5 spurt that made it 48-38 with two minutes left and all but sewed up the win.
Makayla Evans fed sister Madelynn for a 3-pointer and a two-pointer and added two free throws before Evans rebounded Makayla Emerson’s free throw miss a little later and converted it into a basket.
Madelynn Emerson had four rebounds and four steals to go with her 16 points. Makayla added three assists and two rebounds to her nine points.
Sophomore forward Evans netted 13 points, grabbed four rebounds and had a pair of steals.
Loring and Gabrielle Cody combined for nine points and eight rebounds.
Lebel’s 10 points and game-high 11 rebounds paced Hermon. Faith Coombs came off the bench and provided 10 points. Wyman registered five points and four rebounds. Sydney Gallop netted four points and three rebounds and Charlotte Caron had three assists and three points.
Old Town held Hermon without a field goal until Meg Tracy banked in a runner with 5:24 left in the first half.
Both teams were aggressive in their man-to-man defensive sets but the Coyotes outscored the Hawks beyond the 3-point arc 18-9.
“If you don’t play great defense against a team like Hermon, you’re going to lose by 15 or 20 points,” Richards said. “It was a hard-fought battle in a hostile environment but our girls stuck to the game plan and rose to the occasion. Any time you beat a team like Hermon, you have to be happy.”
“It was a fun game,” Cameron said. “Old Town played well. They got us this time. Hats off to them.”