CARIBOU, Maine — The Caribou girls basketball team has punched its ticket to the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor following a convincing 47-28 victory over Houlton.
With the victory, No. 8 Caribou (10-9 overall) draws the tough task of taking on top-ranked Old Town (18-1) in the quarterfinals, 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 19 in Bangor.
No. 9 Houlton ends its season with an 8-8 overall record.
Beating a team three times in a season is one of the most difficult things to accomplish. The Houlton girls basketball team learned that lesson the hard way in Tuesday’s prelim. The Shires had previously beaten Caribou twice during the regular season — 46-36 at Caribou and 57-46 at Houlton.
In Tuesday’s prelim, it was all Caribou as the Vikings came out on the offensive, displaying great ball control and communication throughout the entire first half. Caribou led the Shires from the onset, consistently making 3-pointers. By the end of the first half, the Vikings had a 15-point lead, 26-11.
In the second half, the Vikings kept applying defensive pressure on the Shires. Houlton was able to push through some of that pressure, scoring more points than Caribou in the third quarter. Houlton narrowed the gap to 34-23 going into the final quarter.
With a firm lead established, the Vikings kept up their pressure, and made sure to finish strongly. Caribou scored an additional 13 points and limited Houlton to just five in the final quarter.
For Caribou, Abby Leahy led the team with 17 points, followed by both Selena Savage and Madelynn Deprey with nine points each. Both Ashlyn Bouchard and Ainsley Caron scored five points and Mia Theriault chipped in two.
“I thought we came out with really good defensive pressure tonight,” said Caribou coach Kayla Brown. “We covered the floor well and we also hit the open man and played great team ball. It’s a great team win for us tonight.”
For Houlton, Drew Warman led the team with 11 points, followed by Mia Henderson with seven and Olivia Henderson with six. Both Breanne Barton and Gabby Gentle chipped in two.
“I think Caribou really took control of the court in the first quarter,” said Houlton coach Shawn Graham. “They shot the ball well and I thought we were a little bit tight. We struggled to knock down shots from the perimeter, we didn’t finish around the basket and we missed our fair share of free throws. Tonight, they were just the better team.”