BANGOR — Abby Pyne may be only a freshman, but she’s playing with the confidence of a seasoned veteran.
The John Bapst forward showed that Saturday, posting a double-double with 25 points and 13 rebounds while going 13-for-16 from the foul line to power the Crusaders to a pointworthy 57-53 Class B girls basketball victory over Presque Isle at the Bangor Auditorium.
The 6-foot-0 Pyne was clutch in the fourth quarter from the charity stripe, going 10-11 to help coach Mike Webb’s club keep the Wildcats at bay.
“We don’t believe they can guard us man-to-man, so once we got a lead and could get them out of a zone, hopefully get them in foul trouble, and at the end we wanted to get Pyne on the line,” said Webb, whose Crusaders improved to 6-1 while avenging a 45-40 December defeat to Presque Isle, also 6-1.
Even though you’d expect Pyne to attack the basket against the smaller Wildcats, that wasn’t the case, as she showed that she can hit jump shots.
“We were going to use me more in the 3 because they pack it inside, so I was going to play perimeter more, and that worked really well for this game,” said Pyne.
John Bapst never trailed after Taylor Edgecomb hit a pair of foul shots early in the first quarter, which was capped by Riley Boyle’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the right corner which put the Crusaders up 17-11.
Presque Isle did fight back to tie it on two occasions in the second, but the Crusaders closed that period on an 11-5 run, capped by Edgecomb’s deep jumper from the corner to beat the halftime buzzer.
Even though the Wildcats’ full-court pressure helped produce 13 Bapst turnovers, the Crusaders were unfazed by it.
“Their press hurt us up in Presque Isle, and I think we went right through their press early tonight,” Webb said. “The kids really wanted this one bad. They executed, they worked hard for it, they didn’t quit all night.”
Pyne certainly had plenty of fight, as she shook off flu-like symptoms that limited her against Hermon on Thursday.
“Once the adrenaline got to me, it was all good,” she said.
John Bapst used patience on offense to maintain its lead in the second half, constantly beating the Wildcats on dribble-penetration.
“They beat us back door way too many times,“ said Presque Isle coach Jeff Hudson. “We were scrambling, we made some bad mistakes on defense, but I give John Bapst a lot of credit, I thought they played really well.”
Kayla Richards’ back-door layup got the Wildcats into a 33-33 tie just after the midway point of the third, but an Edgecomb free throw and conventional three-point play by Pyne gave Bapst the lead for good.
“I really like the way we’re playing right now, we’re a lot further ahead than I thought we would be,” Webb said. “If you asked me if we’d be 6-1 and beaten Presque Isle at the beginning of the year I would’ve told you no.”
Brittany Williams added 10 points for John Bapst while Edgecomb had eight points and four steals.
Leading Presque Isle was Richards with 16 points while Meredith Stewart had 11 points and 12 boards.