September 18, 2019
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Hermon girls beat John Bapst in overtime in ‘B’ prelim

BANGOR, Maine — Hermon High School senior guard Claire Petersen missed seven games this season with a punctured lung that required surgery.

She is making up for lost time.

Petersen’s runner from the middle of the lane with 14 seconds remaining in overtime snapped a 39-39 tie and gave her 11th-seeded Hawks a 43-39 upset victory over No. 6 John Bapst of Bangor in their Eastern Maine Class B basketball prelim at the Cross Insurance Center on Tuesday night.

The Crusaders then turned the ball over and Kailee Dunton corralled the loose ball before being fouled and sinking two free throws with one-tenth of a second remaining.

Hermon (9-10) will face No. 3 Medomak Valley of Waldoboro (14-4) in Friday’s 5 p.m. quarterfinal in Bangor.

John Bapst of Bangor concluded a 14-5 campaign which included a pair of regular-season wins over the Hawks.

Bry Crouse paced the Hawks with 12 points, five rebounds and two assists and Petersen finished with nine points, six rebounds and two assists. Dunton had eight points and three rebounds.

Shelby Caron, who sat out most of the first half with two fouls, had seven points and a team-high nine rebounds.

Freshman Crystal Bell poured in a game-high 21 points for John Bapst and she also had five rebounds and two assists. Maegan True had eight points, a game-high 10 rebounds and two steals and freshman Gracie Philippon had seven points and two assists. Madi Higgins and Hannah Philippon had eight rebounds apiece.

Petersen’s two free throws with 1:22 left gave the Hawks a 39-37 lead but Gracie Philippon scored off a nice spin move to tie it.

The Hawks then spread the floor to play for the last shot and Petersen got a step on her defender and drove the middle of the lane.

“When we do the spread, we just try to get by our man and take it to the hole,” explained Petersen. “That’s what I did and, luckily, it went in.

“It hit the backboard, the rim, the rim again and it went in. I just went for it,” said Petersen.

“Claire is our go-to player. We entrust the ball in her hands at any point in the game,” said Hermon coach Amanda Gifford. “She always gives it all she has.”

Gifford also felt her team’s defensive play and contributions from the bench were pivotal in the win.

Hermon went 15-for-46 from the floor and 9-for-15 from the foul line while the Crusaders were 11-for-51 from the floor and 10-for-25 from the free throw line.

“Missed free throws and turnovers. Ten-for-twenty-five isn’t going to get you anywhere,” lamented John Bapst coach Mike Webb, whose youthful team entered the game shooting 57.4 percent from the free throw line. “And Hermon played very well.”

True, the only John Bapst senior, hit a free throw with 1:50 left in regulation to give the Crusaders a 35-33 lead but Caron took a pass from Petersen, made a spin move and sank a layup to tie it 15 seconds later.

Neither team scored the rest of the way, which forced the overtime.

Bell’s two free throws gave the Crusaders a 37-35 lead but Crouse answered with a foul-line jumper.

The Hawks jumped out to a 13-3 lead but they got in foul trouble and the Crusaders outscored them 13-3 which sent the two teams into the locker room tied at 16.

Bell nailed four 3-pointers to key the spurt.

Hermon took a pair of four-point leads in the third quarter but a True free throw and Gracie Philippon’s 3 tied it entering the fourth quarter.

A True putback and two free throws erased a 33-31 deficit and gave JB a 35-33 lead.

But True fouled out with 53.6 seconds left in regulation.

“We had a good team effort tonight,” said Crouse. “It wasn’t one individual. Everyone worked together.”


Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Maegan True’s name.

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