BANGOR, Maine — Cony of Augusta was undefeated and the top-ranked team in Eastern Maine Class A entering Friday night’s girls basketball game against Bangor at Red Barry Gym.
But Cony coach Karen Magnusson knew a taller Bangor squad would give her team fits if the visitors couldn’t negate that advantage.
“We played behind them [between Bangor’s frontcourt players and the basket],” said Magnusson. “If the ball went into them, then we would double[-team] them.
“If they put a shot up, then we would just turn and box out and be in good position for a rebound.”
Cony’s plan worked, and the undefeated Rams downed Bangor 58-37 for their eighth consecutive win.
Josie Lee scored 12 points to pace Cony’s offense, Mia Diplock contributed 11, and Melanie Guzman posted 10.
Lee also registered eight rebounds and four steals, Diplock added six assists, and Guzman made it a double-double night with 10 rebounds.
Jordan Seekins led Bangor with eight points and Mary Butler contributed seven.
Senior co-captain Katie Brochu was held to a single point as she came back from an intestinal bug that’s going around the Bangor team, according to Bangor coach Katie Herbine.
Butler had also been struck by the bug earlier in the week and Kristen Henigan, one of the team’s co-captains, missed the game completely because of it, said Herbine.
Three points from Lee to start the game, four points from Guzman and five from Emily Quirion led Cony to a 12-4 lead in the first quarter, and Bangor was never able to get closer than six the rest of the way.
“They’re a really good team with a lot of good players, a lot of depth and they shoot the ball well,” said Butler.
“I think we did a good job [early], but the [fast] pace of the game [got to Bangor],” she added.
Bangor kept trying to get the ball inside to Brochu, Butler, Cordelia Stewart, Kayla Snow and Erin Boulier, looking for baskets and fouls.
“We tried to pack it in more [inside],” said Diplock. “We were more worried about their forwards than we were about their guards.
“When we went to the 2-3 [zone] in the second half, that was very helpful.”
Bangor tried to trim the margin to start the second half. Three points by Butler and a basket from Seekins cut Cony’s lead to 32-24, but the visitors went on a 12-3 run to close out the third quarter and put the game out of reach.
Brochu fouled out with 4:24 remaining in the game, but Bangor was already trailing 47-31 at that point. Snow fouled out a minute later as Bangor aggressively tried to control loose balls at the cost of fouling.
Diplock felt like they had been in a battle.
“They’re definitely the most physical team we’ve played,” she said.
Herbine felt Bangor had to be more concerned with Cony’s outside shooters.
“We knew we had to get out on the 3s,” she said. “… We hung in for a while.”
Herbine sees her team getting better as the season progresses, with Butler and Stewart both being freshmen.
“We don’t have a heart problem we don’t have a work problem,” she said. “We have a layup and free throw problem, and that can get better.”