BANGOR, Maine — Katie Brochu, senior forward for the Bangor High girls basketball team, would like to see her team approach the success of the school’s soccer and boys basketball programs.
“We want to show the girls are just as important. The boys [teams] get all the recognition,” she said.
Bangor coach Katie Herbine thinks there may be some merit to the idea, but she thinks trying to raise the Rams’ level of achievement to match the success of the boys basketball team will take a long time.
“Coach [Roger] Reed has done a wonderful job with the boys. They’ve been successful for a long time and won multiple state championships,” said Herbine.
“A better comparison,” she continued, “would be to the girls soccer program. They won Eastern Maine last year and states this year. … [Coach] Joe Johnson has had a pretty quick turnaround there.”
Eight of Herbine’s players competed on this year’s girls soccer team — seniors Hanna Colpritt, Liz Hintz, Kristen Henigan and Erin Boulier; juniors Denae Johnson, Morgan Johnson and Jordan Seekins, and freshman Mary Butler.
“I think if you look at that, you can say yes it can be done,” said Herbine. “It’s a good framework to work with.”
She says her Rams making progress. They have the inside play with Brochu, Butler and Cordelia Stewart all 6 feet or taller. The biggest challenge now is outside scoring.
“We’ve got to have kids that can step up and shoot from outside,” Herbine said.
The Rams were also fouling a lot earlier in the season, trying to be aggressive. Against Hampden on Friday, they didn’t foul nearly as much, but Herbine also thought they weren’t aggressive enough.
“It’s OK to be physical, bump a little, being aggressive,” said Herbine. “What we’ve got to get away from is slapping at the ball. We just need to get an arm up to let [opponents] know we’re there.”
The Rams get to see how they’re doing when they host Messalonskee of Oakland on Tuesday and Skowhegan on Friday. Messalonskee won by 12 points and Skowhegan by 11 in the Rams’ second and third games of the season.
“We’re much different than when we played the first time,” said Herbine.
That could be a key for the Rams, who are 5-7 and eighth in the Eastern Maine Class A Heal points. Only the top nine make the tournament, and Nos. 8 and 9 will play a prelim game.
“Every game seems so important. … We need to get a streak going and get out of that 8-9 spot,” Herbine said.
Play ’em while you got ’em
Chad Bradbury, coach of the Hampden Academy girls basketball team, looked like he was going to have some tough choices in Friday night’s 52-40 victory over Bangor.
Starters Ashley Danforth, a senior guard, and Helene Sherburne, a senior forward, both picked up their fourth fouls well before the end of the game.
Sophomore sub Cassandra Bean also ended up one foul from departing as the Broncos tried to hold off the Rams.
Sherburne was one of her team’s primary 3-point shooters in the game, hitting 3 of 8 as the team shot 10 for 27 on 3s.
Danforth is a key passer to shooters as well as taking quite a few shots herself, often driving to the basket and picking up fouls.
Bradbury decided to leave them in the game despite their foul troubles.
“They’re key players for me,” said Bradbury. “They play until they foul out. They’re no good to me on the bench.
“But they know what’s going on. I trust them.”
Sherburne picked up her fourth foul with 3:29 remaining and Hampden up by 13.
Danforth was even earlier, getting her fourth foul with 2:11 left in the third quarter. Bangor was in the midst of a 15-4 run that cut the Broncos’ lead to six points before Ellie Webb, Sherburne and Jordan Maxwell sparked an 11-4 Hampden run that sealed the win.
And Bradbury’s trust was well earned. Nobody fouled out.
Crusaders on a roll
Emily Tilton, John Bapst senior forward, was in a tight girls basketball game Saturday as the Crusaders worked to hold off Hermon in the closing minutes of Bapst’s 41-36 victory.
Nervousness was not an option.
“I try to get calm,” Tilton said. “If you get nervous, you end up throwing the ball away, and that’s what you’re trying not to do.”
The Crusaders hung on for the win, their third in a row.
“For a young team, I thought their composure was great,” said Bapst coach Mike Webb.
The winning streak makes Tilton feel good about the rest of the season.
“I feel like we finally have a groove,” said Tilton. “We got over the midseason [slump].
“This [win] should secure us a [tournament] spot if we keep playing the way we’re playing.”