BANGOR, Maine — With a couple of her teammates in foul trouble, Amanda Johnson knew she had a job to do.
The Skowhegan High freshman, who admittedly hasn’t been called upon a lot this year, answered the call in a big way Thursday night, scoring 13 points off the bench by canning four 3-pointers as the Indians earned a 60-44 Class A girls basketball victory over Bangor at Red Barry Gym.
Johnson, who shot solidly from the perimeter in the junior varsity contest, scored nine of her points in the second half — all from downtown — enabling coach Heath Cowan’s club to maintain a double-digit lead.
“[The JV game’s] when I normally get started and I think that’s why I like playing because it gets me warned up for the next game to come,” said Johnson, who paced a balanced Skowhegan attack.
Guards Whitney Jones and Adrienne Davis were the other Indians in double figures with 11 points each while Jaimi Poland contributed eight off the bench.
Many of the Indians’ role players came up big, since senior forward Kaley Brown and Jones were in foul trouble for most of the game.
“We’ve had some rough times this year and we’ve all just come together trust-wise so we can just look to our bench,” said senior captain Morgan Lambert.
Junior forward Mackenzie Smith and classmate Brooke Clement certainly earned more trust, as Smith hauled down 13 rebounds off the bench while Clement was sound defensively.
“That’s the great part about this team; two, three kids go down, we never missed a beat. We extended the lead, that’s the mark of a good team,” said Cowan.
Skowhegan pulled away by outscoring Bangor 16-10 in the second quarter to take a 12-point lead into the locker room and they led by as much as 19 in the second half.
The Indians’ in-your-face, man-to-man defense flustered the Rams into 21 turnovers, even though some of those mistakes could’ve been avoided.
“We just had too many turnovers. Skowhegan’s a very good team … we just turned the ball over too much,” said Bangor coach Tom Tennett. “A lot of our mistakes were unforced.”
Despite that effort and holding the Rams to 32 percent (17-for-53) shooting, the Indians felt their defense was a tad shaky at times.
“We weren’t playing defense the way we usually do. It wasn’t very satisfying,” said Lambert.”
The Rams had some foul trouble of their own, as junior center Stephanie Comstock was forced to the bench with three fouls near the end of the first quarter.
She quickly picked up No. 4 early in the second half, and the Indians were able to capitalize.
“Every time Bangor made their run, we answered it. That’s what you’ve got to do,” Cowan said.
Game bragging rights go to Johnson, who was 4-for-7 from beyond the arc.
“I’ve been on and off [shooting] ever since eighth grade but it’s starting to come back. It feels great,” she said.
After watching the JV contest, Cowan had a gut feeling Johnson would play a key role.
“You saw the JV game, she hit that many in the JV game as well,” he said.
Comstock and Brianna McKenna scored seven points each to lead Bangor while McKenna had eight rebounds.