BREWER, Maine — Points were scarce during Tuesday night’s Bangor-Brewer high school girls basketball game as the two rivals combined to shoot just 21.2 percent from the floor (22-for-104).
But Class AA Bangor used an 11-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to build a 14-point lead and held off a furious late rally by the Class A Witches to pull out a 35-27 victory.
Bangor improved to 10-5 after winning its fifth straight and seventh in last eight games. Brewer fell to 4-12.
The Rams received 11 points and eight rebounds from sophomore forward Maggie Cowperthwaite, including nine points and four rebounds in the fourth quarter. She had a free throw and a basket in the final 21.4 seconds to sew up the win.
“We came into the locker room at halftime and we realized we needed to turn it on,” said Cowperthwaite, whose Rams led 11-5 at halftime. “We started to string passes together and shots starting falling more in the second half . And we played with a little more grit.”
Sarah Hollis, Libby Fleming (4 rebounds) and Riley Andrews (3 rebounds) scored six points apiece for the Rams. Olivia Sharrow contributed four points and four rebounds.
Senior forward Becca Gideon posted nine points and a game-high 13 rebounds to pace Brewer. Jordan Goodrich added six points and three rebounds and Kenzie Dore contributed 10 rebounds and two assists to go with two points. Sarah Kiley (4 rebounds) and Brooke Merrow had four points each.
Andrews started the 11-point run with a runner from the middle of the paint to close out the third quarter and give the Rams a 19-14 lead.
Her sister, Rowan, opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a basket and Hollis hit a free throw before Libby Fleming fed Cowperthwaite underneath for a basket. Following a Riley Andrews steal, Hollis connected with a layup and, seconds later, Hollis fed Libby Fleming for an inside basket to make it 28-14 with 4:10 left.
Gideon and Cowperthwaite swapped baskets and Cowperthwaite’s two free throws answered Goordrich’s jumper from the corner to keep the margin at 14 with 2:55 left.
But the determined Witches fought back, forcing some turnovers with their full-court pressure to score nine unanswered points and pull within five with 39.5 seconds left. Merrow had four points, including a layup off her steal, Goodich hit a 3-pointer and Gideon sank two free throws.
The Witches could have made it closer but missed some free throws before Cowperthwaite iced it.
“It was a gritty game,” said Bangor coach Joe Nelson. “The effort was pretty good. Our defense, at times, was really good and our offense, at times, was pretty good, but we didn’t finish particularly great. I liked the shots we were getting.”
Riley Andrews gave the Rams a big lift off the bench.
“I just tried to bring energy to the court and uplift everybody,” said Andrews. “And I needed to slow everyone down on offense because we were rushing our shots.”
“It was a grind for both teams,” said Brewer coach Chris Horr. “Bangor plays very good defense. They made us work hard for everything.”
He said the Rams made it difficult for scoring leader Gideon to drive to the basket with their swarming defense “and when she passed it, they would get out on the shooter.”
“But I was proud of the way we played, defensively, and the way the girls fought back after falling behind by 14. They could have packed it in,” said Horr.
Bangor has limited its last eight opponents to an average of 33.9 points per game.
Gideon, Dore and the smaller Witches outscrapped the Rams under the boards for large portions of the game but Bangor was able to utilize its size and its quickness effectively on the defensive side, contesting shots and limiting Brewer’s open looks.
Brewer outrebounded Bangor 35-31.