BANGOR — Senior forward Katie Brochu and her Bangor teammates wanted to make a statement in Friday night’s season-opening girls basketball against defending Eastern Maine Class A champion Hampden.
“We lost to Hampden last year,” said Brochu. “This is a completely new team with a good attitude.”
Brochu used their height inside for grabbing rebounds, especially offensive ones, and played a solid game around the basket on both ends of the floor to power the Rams to a convincing 47-21 victory over Hampden at Red Barry Gym.
“Hampden is such a great team,” said Brochu. “It feels nice to play with them. I think we learned what Bangor basketball is all about, and it’s going to take contributions from all 14 of us.”
Bangor used its height advantage and corresponding long arms on defense to bottle up the Broncos.
“We have three girls over 6 feet,” said the 6-foot-2 Brochu. “It helps that we have long arms. Our wingspan is longer than our height.”
The other two are 6-1 freshmen Mary Butler and Cordelia Stewart.
“The kids shot well,” said Bangor coach Katie Herbine, “and when they missed, someone was there to rebound. They worked well together.”
The game was close through the first quarter, but Jordan Seekins’ 3-pointer with about 35 seconds left gave Bangor a 7-6 lead that the Rams never relinquished.
Brochu scored eight points in the second quarter as Bangor went up by 10 at halftime.
“I got encouragement from the bench, and I just took off,” said Brochu. “The shots started falling.”
She finished 8-for-15 from the floor.
Ashley Danforth tried to keep the Broncos in the game in the first half, scoring seven of Hampden’s nine points.
The Broncos could never keep any momentum going, though, and the Rams pushed the lead to 20 with 3:16 left in the third quarter.
“We knew it was going to be rough tonight,” said Hampden coach Chad Bradbury, whose five starters from last year all graduated.
Hampden tried to start a comeback by scoring the last five points of the third quarter to make it 33-18 entering the final eight minutes.
But Brochu scored six points to start the fourth quarter and Bangor cruised in from there. Brochu finished with a game-high 16 points.
The Rams held Hampden to three points in the fourth quarter, just as they had in the second quarter.
“Brochu was very dominating tonight,” said Bradbury, “and we need to box out better.
“And we didn’t shoot well. That’s a bad combo.”
Denae Johnson posted six points for the Rams and played a key role getting the ball up the floor and distributing it to her teammates. Morgan Johnson and Seekins added five apiece.
Danforth led the Broncos with nine points as she tried to split the Ram defense and either get layups or foul shots. Unfortunately for her and her teammates, Bangor also blocked several Hampden shots.
Hampden was held to 7-for-43 shooting from the floor. Bangor was 19-for-56.
“What goes around, comes around eventually, I guess,” said Bradbury.
Herbine was pleased with her team.
“I think we set the foundation last year, and the kids have responded very well,” she said.