At 6-foot-4, Central High School junior Bekah Campbell towers over her opponents like the abominable snowman.
While she has figured prominently into the Red Devils’ girls basketball plans since arriving on the scene two years ago, Campbell’s preseason was anything but cheerful.
She suffered a stress fracture in her left foot while playing in a fall league game and re-aggravated it during a preseason contest at Mattanawcook Academy that caused her to miss Central’s first few games.
“I was just running down the court and it felt like something popped or snapped in my foot,” said Campbell.
After the second setback against Mattanawcook, Campbell’s foot was in an air cast briefly and she let it heal before returning to coach Diane Rollins’ lineup Dec. 11 against Dexter.
“It’s feeling way better than I expected at this point,” Campbell said Friday after her Red Devils defeated defending Eastern Maine Class C champion George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill at home.
“It doesn’t bother me when I play, so that’s really a huge plus.”
If anyone wanted to feel sorry for Central while Campbell was out, they need to look no further than the play of Hannah Pray, Max McHugh, Jocelynn Portmann, Roberta Trafton and Sam Blanchard, who give Rollins a blend of quickness and height to go with Campbell.
Portmann is listed at 6 feet.
“We have so much speed and we have so many quick guards, but we’ve got height, too. Everyone on our team is athletic,” Campbell said.
Pray’s athleticism was displayed in a big way Friday night, as she dropped 19 second-half points on a GSA team that is always tough defensively.
“She hit everything she threw up. That’s one of the better performances we’ve ever had play against us by an individual,” Eagles’ coach Don Allen said Friday.
As expected, Campbell has had to ease her way back into the lineup, and enjoyed her finest output of the young season Friday with 12 points and eight rebounds.
“She’s getting back into shape,” Rollins said. “She’ll get there, I’m hoping right about at the right time.”
Campbell’s just happy to be back on the court.
“It’s so exciting to be able to be back and play again,” she said. “I hate sitting on the bench. I love being there for my team. It feels so much better to be back and playing again.”
McHugh, a freshman, has played a huge role in Central’s 5-0 start that has it second in Eastern Maine Class C behind undefeated Foxcroft Academy, also 5-0, as the 5-4 guard is averaging a little more than 10 points per game.
Treadwell’s knee healed
While we’re on the topic of top local schoolgirl post players, another is working her way back into the lineup on a full-time basis.
Old Town sophomore Courtney Treadwell, who had been battling a sprained left knee, was recently cleared by her doctor for full-time game minutes, and the 6-2 Treadwell couldn’t be happier.
“I hurt it playing AAU, took a fall and ended up spraining it,” she said. “It feels great [to be back]. I think my teammates are happy but they’ve done really well and they deserve a lot of credit.”
Treadwell, who hurt her kneecap, will not need any kind of surgery after the season. The rest and recovery and gradual easing back into coach Dana Maxim’s rotation has paid dividends.
Treadwell should play a vital part on a young Old Town squad that features one senior, four sophomores and five freshmen.
In her first extended playing time of the season last Thursday, Treadwell had four points and seven rebounds in a win over John Bapst.
Of the 10 remaining undefeated girls basketball teams in Eastern Maine, three of them reside in Class C — Central, Foxcroft Academy and Orono.
Come tonight, only two of those squads will still be perfect, as the Ponies and Red Riots square off in a marquee December matchup in Dover-Foxcroft.
This contest will feature three of the top post players in the region in Vanessa Lougee of Foxcroft and Orono’s Ally Sherman and Jillian Woodward.
Coach Rachel Bousquet’s Ponies have coasted to a 5-0 record and the top spot in the Class C Heal points while beating opponents by an average of 15 points per game.
FA’s defense has also been stout, as the Ponies are yielding only 24.1 points per contest while averaging 44.
Orono has been just as tough on the defensive end, giving up a mere 33.2 points per outing, and coach Jessica Libby’s offense has produced 57 points per game.
Plenty of Heal points will be up for grabs in this contest, and even though the season is still in its early stages, the winner could take an early step toward a possible No. 1 seed come February.