Alisyn Alley showed Saturday why she is one of 10 semifinalists for the Miss Maine Basketball award given to the state’s top senior player.
The fourth Alley sister to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for her career poured in 17 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, blocked four shots, had four steals and dished out three assists to lead top-ranked Stearns to a 50-35 Class C North semifinal win over No. 5 Hodgdon at the Cross Insurance Center.
Alley also did an exceptional job guarding Hodgdon freshman phenom Anna Oliver, holding her to 12 points.
Stearns, now 15-3, will take on No. 3 Penobscot Valley of Howland, 17-3, in Monday’s 6 p.m. regional championship game at the Cross Insurance Center. The teams split regular season games.
Hodgdon finished at 16-4.
“Alley was phenomenal. She is a great player,” said Hodgdon coach Wendell Harvey. “We just couldn’t get our shots off tonight like we did the other night [against Central of Corinth].
“They played real good defense. We ran every offensive set we had but they had an answer for all of them. Kudos to them,” Harvey added.
“We have been practicing to play them for a week or so,” Alley said. “We were ready for them.”
Junior Makayla Anderson had 11 points, six rebounds and two steals for the winners and sophomore Kelly Farber contributed 11 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Junior Kasey Kenyon chipped in with eight points and nine rebounds along with two steals.
The talented Oliver had three rebounds and three assists to go with her team-leading 16 points for Hodgdon.
“She does a lot of hesitation moves so I tried to not fall for the fakes and I kept my hand in her face,” Alley said.
Senior Monique Polchies had nine points and two rebounds and junior Marissa Dow had four points and six rebounds for Hodgdon.
Another critical factor was rebounding, where the taller Minutemen outrebounded Hodgdon 38-22 behind Alley, Kenyon and Farber and generated a lot of second-chance points off their offensive rebounds.
“Rebounding was huge for us,” Kenyon said. “We knew we were bigger than they were so we tried to get all the boards we could. We got a lot of second looks by crashing the offensive boards.”
“Farber was the X factor for us,” said Stearns coach Nick Cullen. “She came out of nowhere to get a ton of offensive rebounds. She really did a great job, offensively.”
Stearns led 28-23 early in the second half when the Minutemen used an 8-0 run to expand the lead 13.
Alley fed Anderson for a jumper from the corner; Anderson followed with a pair of free throws before Alley grabbed an offensive rebound and raced the length of the court before hitting a three. Kenyon capped the flurry with a free throw.
Following two Oliver free throws, Kenyon scored the next five points on a traditional 3-point play and a basket off an Alley feed to make it 41-25.
“This was one of our better games this season. We really wanted it,” Kenyon said.
“It was a team effort,” Alley said.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the number of points Anna Oliver scored in the game. It has been corrected.