BANGOR — The way Carylanne Wolfington was hitting shots from inside and out and flying all over the Bangor Auditorium hardwood on defense Saturday night, the Hall-Dale girls basketball team looked unstoppable.
The junior point guard amassed 20 points, four steals and seven rebounds to lead the Bulldogs from Farmingdale to their first state championship since 1986 with a 54-38 victory over Washington Academy of East Machias.
“I was open so I just shot it”, said Wolfington, who admitted to not being nervous her first time in the spacious Auditorium.
“We practiced here (Friday) and got a lot of shots up,” she added.
Coach Brandon Terrill’s club wrapped up the season 21-1 while the Raiders, playing the first girls state title game in program history, finish 17-5.
The game represented a homecoming for Terrill, a 2002 graduate of Orono High School, and his Bulldogs didn’t disappoint, taking control with a 10-0 run to end the first half.
Hall-Dale had taken an 18-10 lead on Kristen Moody’s driving shot, but the Raiders scored the next five points to claw back within three, but the ‘Dogs scored the next 10 points to start to pull away.
A tough coaching decision on Terrill’s part played into that a little bit, as he elected to put 6-foot-1 senior center Taylor Massey back in despite her having two fouls.
It worked, as her interior defense suffocated the Raiders.
“I talked to her briefly before I put her back in, giving up a basket here is better than picking up your third foul before halftime,” said Terrill.
The Bulldogs were well prepared for the Raiders’ penetration game, and EM tourney MVP Taylor Seeley had a difficult time getting open looks off screens.
“We knew they were good at the pick and roll, our coach did a really good job preparing for that,” Wolfington said.
Wolfington and Massey helped keep the Raiders at bay in the third quarter, as the two combined for 13 of the Bulldogs’ 17 points in that period as they stretched their lead out to 17.
“We didn’t do a great job defensively, but give them credit, (Wolfington) played a heck of a game,” said Washington Academy coach Gary Wood. “She knocked down some shots, she did a good job penetrating. Both her and Massey kind of killed us.”
Massey wound up with 18 points on 8-of-17 shooting, while their defense forced the Raiders to play most of the game from outside 15 feet.
“We were kind of stagnant in our offense, we weren’t making good solid cuts,” said Wood. “We weren’t crisp in our offense but their defense had something to do with that.”
Hall-Dale’s defense made Seeley a non-factor after the opening period, in which she scored six of her 12 points.
“We knew they like the pick and roll game, it was effective in the first quarter,” Terrill said.
The Bulldogs also kept the Raiders off the offensive glass, with Massey, Wolfington and Wendy Goldman constantly around the backboards.
“That’s what we do, we constantly harp on defense and rebounding,” said Terrill. “The girls go after it so hard on defense, they had a good understanding about what we were up against.”
Kristi Wright, who led the Raiders with 13 points, tried to keep her team in the game in the third quarter as she scored eight points, but Washington Academy’s defense had no answers for Wolfington and Massey.