BANGOR, Maine — Saturday’s Eastern Maine Class D championship game was merely another step toward history for the Washburn girls basketball team.
The Beavers, who have overpowered opponents for an undefeated season, dominated from start to finish en route to a 71-39 victory over Schenck of East Millinocket at the Bangor Auditorium.
This one was never in doubt for coach Diane Trams’ Beavers (21-0), who will play for their third straight gold ball next Saturday at 1:05 p.m. in Bangor.
No. 2 Schenck finishes the season 17-5.
Washburn asserted its fullcourt pressure and uptempo offensive attack right from the get-go, steamrolling to a 24-10 first-quarter lead while holding Schenck’s cousin duo of Morgan and Kristin Thompson scoreless.
“We knew we had to pick up the Thompson girls,” said Beavers’ junior Carmen Bragg, who led Washburn offensively with 19 points. “We did a good job with our pressure defense and just keeping the intensity the entire game.”
Coach Darrick Thompson’s Wolverines were facing an uphill battle right from the start.
“There’s no way to prepare for that,” he said. You’ve just got to do what you do all year long and try to minimize the damage.”
Washburn did struggle slightly early, but closed the first quarter on a 12-2 run to establish control.
“Once we got into the flow of the game, we were getting our transition baskets,” said Bragg.
The Beavers’ halfcourt trap produced 13 first-half turnovers and 24 for the game as Washburn led 45-18 at halftime. The Beavers never trailed during the game, but Thompson was pleased with how his players kept their heads up.
“If you let up, Washburn’s going to beat you by 40,” he said. “It could’ve been uglier, but hats off to Washburn; they’re tough.”
Tough and fast, as speedsters Bragg, Mackenzie Worcester, Joan Overman and Carsyn Koch were the key catalysts defensively for the Beavers, consistently getting their hands in passing lanes and creating transition offense.
“We were able to trap out of our halfcourt defense, that’s one of the ways that we kind of get things going for ourselves offensively,” said Trams. “We were able to create some points in transition.”
Washburn placed three players in double figures, with Overman scoring 16 points and Worcester 14.
“We like to get as many people involved as we can so people can’t throw junk defenses at us and shut our offense down,” Worcester explained.
Morgan and Kristin Thompson were held in check. Kristin finished with 16 points and Morgan, who is Darrick Thompson’s daughter, had six on 1-for-11 shooting. Morgan Thompson scored 12 of her points in the second half, long after the game was in hand.
“Morgan’s not a ballhandler, especially against a team like that,” said Darrick Thompson. “When they send 2-3 girls at you, you can’t prepare for it.”
Washburn led by as many as 32 points in the second half. While the Beavers had an off-shooting day by their standards, going 22-of-60 from the floor, they attacked the rim consistently and were rewarded with 39 attempts at the free-throw line, making 22 of them.