BANGOR, Maine — University of Maine-bound Parise Rossignol, a 2,000-point scorer, netted 25 points Thursday night.
But her teammates certainly chipped in as well as the Van Buren High School girls basketball team beat Fort Fairfield 39-37 to earn a berth in the Eastern Maine Class D final against defending three-time state champ Washburn at 9:05 Saturday morning at the Cross Insurance Center.
Van Buren, the second seed, improved to 17-4 while No. 3 Fort Fairfield wound up 15-6.
Fort Fairfield had beaten Van Buren twice during the regular season.
Fort Fairfield used a scintillating first-half performance from junior forward Megan Jellison to build a 25-18 lead at the intermission.
Jellison came off the bench and scored 15 points, including 11 straight, to turn a 12-6 deficit into a 17-12 lead.
Logan Bubar hit a 3-pointer to open the second half and expand the lead to 28-18 but the Tigers went 11 minutes, 7 seconds before scoring another point. Van Buren rattled off 14 unanswered points to take a 32-28 lead it would never relinquish.
The talented Rossignol scored eight points and fed Courtney Parent for a pair of baskets during the run.
Logan Bubar finally ended the drought by hitting a four-foot runner off a Whitney McNamee pass with 4:04 left in the game.
“Our defense came up huge for us,” said Rossignol. “They got a lot of easy baskets in the first half. They got some easy cuts. But we kept in front of them in the second half and did a good job.”
“They switched up defenses. They went to a 2-3 matchup zone so they were sliding over to cover our cutters. We couldn’t get anything inside like we needed to have. That hurt,” said Fort Fairfield coach Larry Gardner.
Fort Fairfield shot just 3-for-22 in the second half.
Kayla Durette passed to Rossignol for a pair with 2:11 left but a McNamee free throw and Taylor Churchill’s steal and layup cut it to 34-33 with 1:07 left.
Rossignol sank a pair of free throws with 48 seconds left but Logan Bubar’s free throws cut it to one again.
Rossignol hit two more free throws with 29.7 seconds left and blocked Janae Libby’s attempted 3-pointer before being fouled and hitting another free throw.
Jellison closed out the scoring with two free throws.
“We were down by 10 but our girls gutted it out,” said Van Buren coach Matt Rossignol, who is Parise’s father. “It was a team effort. Those who think we’re all about Parise are absolutely wrong.”
Rossignol had eight rebounds and two assists to go with her 25 points. Parent and Emily Dumond had six points each. Parent grabbed six rebounds and had three assists.
Jellison’s 17 points and five rebounds led the Tigers. Bubar had six points, four assists and four rebounds and McNamee had a game-high 10 rebounds. Kayla Giberson had eight rebounds and three assists.
Parent said they tried to sandwich the 6-foot-1 McNamee and they were able to hold her to three points after she had averaged 22 in the two wins during the regular season. Felisha Bouchard did an excellent job defending McNamee.