BANGOR — After a loss to Mount Ararat of Topsham on Jan. 28, the Bangor girls basketball team was in an all too familiar position, on the outside of the Eastern Maine Class A postseason picture.
“That was not going to happen to us again this year,” Bangor senior Hillary Throckmorton said. Our confidence has gone up a lot and we’re all supporting each other.”
The loss to Mount Ararat rejuvenated the Rams, who needed to win their last four games to qualify for the tourney.
“After losing to Mount Ararat we all kind of got a reality check, and we needed to beat Messalonskee, Mt. Blue, Skowhegan and Brewer to get in,” Throckmorton said.
It turns out the Rams left all four of those teams in their wake, and will make their first tournament appearance in three years when coach Katie Herbine’s seventh-seeded club battles No. 2 Edward Little of Auburn at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Bangor feels it couldn’t have been blessed with a better matchup, as both the Rams and Red Eddies feature tenacious backcourt play while Bangor has an edge in the paint.
“We have the advantage of being taller in a lot of ways,” junior forward Kate Treadwell said. “We have a lot of really fast guards that’ll help us with (Edward Little’s) press.”
The 6-foot Treadwell is happy to be back after missing the first half of the season while recuperating from a concussion suffered in a game at Mt. Blue late last season.
“To be able to play with my teammates and get back in the game after sitting out for 11 months is just something different to me, but it feels really good,” Treadwell said.
In Treadwell’s absence, Bri McKenna and Kristen Hennigan did a solid job filling the void in the post.
“Bri did an awesome job and to have both of them in there and Kristen, it’s just a good rotation we have going,” Throckmorton said.
Throckmorton will be looked upon for tourney leadership, as she’s the only Ram to have experienced the postseason.
“We’re all really excited, we just want to win,” senior guard Kim Jordan said.
Jordan headlines a deep Bangor backcourt that also includes sisters Denae and Deidre Johnson.
Those guards will have to contain Edward Little’s perimeter threats, which include sophomore standout Ashlee Arnold.
“We do know that they shoot threes. They’re fast, they don’t have very many tall people,” said Jordan. “They’re a good team, obviously.”
Bangor’s offensive confidence has also shown over the stretch run as the Rams have cracked down on turnovers while averaging 54.2 points per contest.
“As a team I’d say we’ve come together, our confidence has risen,” said Treadwell.
Bangor’s matchup with Edward Little will follow a Nos. 3-6 contest featuring Hampden Academy and Mount Ararat, which kicks off the four-game day at 3:05 p.m.
The two teams met in the regular season, with coach Chad Bradbury’s Broncos coming away with a 58-37 victory.
The other two contests in Augusta feature No. 4 Cony taking on No. 5 Brunswick at 7, and top-seeded Morse of Bath and No. 8 Messalonskee of Oakland wrapping up the day at 8:30.
Two girls games are on tap in Class B at the Bangor Auditorium as No. 3 Medomak Valley of Waldoboro faces No. 6 Caribou at 5 p.m, followed by No. 2 John Bapst against 10th-seeded Hermon at 6:30.