PORTLAND — If you want to look at things from a statistical perspective, the Leavitt girls basketball team didn’t enjoy the offensive firepower that had been on display throughout the year.
But, boy, did the Hornets make up for that on the defensive end Friday night in the Class B girls basketball state championship game. Bigtime.
Senior point guard Courtney Anderson took care of the offense with 21 points and sophomore sister Kristen fueled the defense with six steals as Leavitt capped an undefeated season with a 49-37 victory over Nokomis at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Kristen Anderson, known for her NBA-range 3-point shooting, was throwing up more than shots, as she was feeling sick throughout the night, even throwing up on the sideline during a timeout in the second half.
But that didn’t stop her and her sister from helping mother and coach Tammy Anderson’s Hornets cap a 22-0 season with the first gold ball in program history.
Nokomis, making its second straight state title game appearance, finished 19-3.
“(Kristen) was sick enough to be throwing up in the locker room at halftime, and on the sideline during a timeout,” said Courtney Anderson, who scored 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Adrianna Newton was the other Hornet in double figures with 13 points while Kristen Anderson netted nine.
Kylie Richards led Nokomis with 12 points.
Courtney Anderson, who will play at the University of Maine next fall, took advantage of Warrior foul trouble to score most of her fourth-quarter points, as Nokomis point guard Julie Smith played most of the final period with four fouls.
“(Smith) had four fouls and I had to attack her. She wasn’t going to stop me from going to the rim because she didn’t want to get her fifth foul,” said Anderson.
Leavitt led 26-19 at halftime and started to pull away late in the third, scoring the final five points of the period, including four on breakaway layups by Courtney Anderson.
Both of those were set up by steals by Kristen, who also had five assists.
The Warriors did live up to their nickname in the final period, closing within eight on a 3-pointer from the left corner by Kelsie Richards, but coach Kori Dionne’s club couldn’t overcome its 23 turnovers.
“When you put up 43 shots in the game and you have 23 turnovers, it’s kind of hard to win a basketball game,” said Dionne.
It certainly would’ve been easy for the Hornets to have a letdown after ending defending state champion York’s 42-game winning streak in the Western Maine final, but that wasn’t the case.
“Not that I’m discounting this game at all, but I don’t know if anything could’ve topped last Saturday,” said Courtney Anderson.
Neither team was giving much ground in a tightly contested first half, but Leavitt closed the second quarter on an 8-0 run after Danielle Watson’s baseline jumper had given the Warriors a 19-18 lead.
Kristen Anderson showed off her shooting range with a 3-pointer from well beyond the NBA line to start the run, while a backdoor layup by Newton and conventional 3-point play from Randall helped the Hornets establish their halftime advantage.
“It’s definitely huge to go into the locker room with an 8-0 run,” said Courtney Anderson.
Newton, Leavitt’s top post player, rolled her ankle early in the third quarter and had to sit out for about four minutes but the Warriors were unable to take advantage.
Nokomis didn’t have much trouble breaking Leavitt’s ballhawking full-court press, but careless passes in the forecourt limited the Warriors’ opportunities offensively.
“Our problem wasn’t really their full-court pressure because we were turning the ball over in the frontcourt,” said Dionne.
The gold ball was certainly a dream come true for Courtney Anderson, who has been through plenty of basketball ups and downs. Leavitt endured a 1-17 season her freshman year.
“It’s very special, more than I could ever ask for,” she said. “(From) 1-17 my freshman year to go out not losing one game my senior year, I could’ve never dreamed of this.”
Courtney Anderson and Abbey Randall had four steals apiece for Leavitt.