CORINTH, Maine — Central High School senior Sydney Allen showed why she is one of the premier guards in Class C North this season.
Allen scored a game-high 22 points, dished out four assists and blocked three shots on Monday night to lead Central to a 50-35 victory over the youthful Dexter Tigers in a battle of unbeatens.
Allen also had the responsibility of guarding Dexter freshman standout Peyton Grant for most of the evening. Grant managed to score 20 points but she was limited to a 6-for-23 shooting performance by the quick and long-armed Allen.
“She’s tough,” said Allen. “I knew she liked to shoot the threes so I got out on her. And when she tried to drive, I stood up.”
“(Allen) is one of the best players we’ll go up against,” said Dexter guard Kaitlyn Webber, one of just two seniors on the Dexter roster.
Dexter (3-1) had no answer for Allen’s quickness as she used her speedy first step to drive by the Tigers and either shoot a short runner or dish off to a teammate underneath for a layup.
“I was able to use a quick crossover step to get by them,” said Allen, a Bangor Daily News All-Maine schoolgirl honorable mention a year ago.
“She’s a good player. She’s talented and she’s creative,” said Dexter coach Jody Grant, who didn’t believe his team did a good job with their help defense after Allen burst past the first defender.
Allen said her team’s defense was the key to the win.
“We know Dexter always has a strong defensive team and we wanted to bring that to them,” said Allen.
Central (4-0) utilized player-to-player defense the entire game and limited defending the defending Class C North champions to two points in the first quarter while building an 8-2 lead.
Dexter shot 1-for-8 from the floor.
The Red Devils built the lead to 19-9 in the second period but the Tigers used a 6-2 spurt to close out the half and pull within 21-15.
Dexter stayed within striking distance in the third period but Central scored the last six points of the quarter to turn a seven-point lead into a 35-22 advantage.
Madi Speed used a power move to drive the lane and bank a shot in from the right side of the paint to start the flurry and Allen followed with a pull-up jumper from the right side of the foul line.
Dexter couldn’t get any closer than 10 the rest of the way.
Sophomore center Emilee Cohen had 11 points and eight rebounds for Central.
“Emilee was tough inside and that helped us,” said Allen.
Junior Rachel Smith contributed six rebounds, two steals and four points and senior Emily Smith had five rebounds and four points.
Abi Allen, Sydney’s sister, had six rebounds as Central outrebounded Dexter 32-18 leading to several second-chance points.
Grant’s 20 points paced Dexter. Fellow freshman Avery Herrick had six steals, five points and five rebounds and Webber posted four points. The other freshman starter, Cheyenne Beem, grabbed four rebounds. Becca Batron hauled down five rebounds.
“We’re inexperienced and they have a lot of experience,” said Dexter coach Grant.
Dexter won the JV game 32-17.