The Hermon High School girls basketball team showed Friday night why it should be among the contenders for the Class B North championship this season.
Although they were facing a youthful Foxcroft Academy team, the Hawks were impressive in all phases of the game en route to a season-opening 74-28 victory at Hermon High School.
The veteran Hawks wasted little time capitalizing on the Ponies’ inexperience, scoring the game’s first 10 points en route to a 17-2 run.
Foxcroft Academy closed to within 10 on two occasions in the second period but the Hawks scored the final nine points of the period to build a comfortable 30-11 lead at intermission.
“Our kids played well and we had an opportunity to get everybody in. We’re still a young team,” Hermon coach Chris Cameron said. “We start three sophomores. There’s plenty of positive things we can take away from this.”
The Hawks featured balanced scoring with four players in double figures and two more with nine points.
Senior point guard Paige Plissey led the way with 12 points, eight steals and three assists and senior forward Grace Page contributed 10 points, six rebounds and two assists. Sophomore forward Megan Tracy posted 10 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two assists and fellow sophomore Charlotte Caron provided 10 points off the bench.
Freshman guard Sadie Campbell drained three 3-pointers for nine points in her high school debut and another sophomore, Elizabeth Wyman, produced nine points and seven rebounds.
Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft graduated three starters off last year’s 6-12 team — including Bangor Daily News All-Maine honorable mention Mackenzie Beaudry — and had four others decide they didn’t want to play this season. The Ponies were led by freshman guard Annie Raynes.
Raynes scored 12 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Fellow freshman Destiny Weymouth was one of four Ponies with four points along with sophomore Kiya Cook and senior forward Jenna Anderson. Sophomore guard Meghan Spooner hauled down seven rebounds and made two steals.
“They’re well-coached and they transition real well,” Foxcroft Academy coach Blake Smith said. “That is a contender right there.
“We’re just too young and inexperienced,” he said. “But there some real promise in our younger group. A couple of freshmen contributed the most.”
The Hawks used their superior height and athleticism to force turnover after turnover with their trapping defense. Those turnovers often led to transition baskets.
“We all have long arms and we’re taller so we use our length to trap and steal off their passes,” said Plissey, who made six of her steals in the first half.
“We knew we wanted to move the ball up the court pretty fast. That was our game plan,” Page said.
Page and Plissey each scored four points and during the game-opening 10-0 run.
Raynes scored Foxcroft’s first two points with 3:09 left in the first quarter with a driving layup and it also represented the Ponies’s first actual shot attempt in the game due to the constant flow of turnovers forced by the Hermon pressure.
The Hawks then rattled off the next seven points with Plissey converting a couple of layups after feeding Page for a traditional 3-point play.
Foxcroft used a 5-2 run spanning the first and second periods to pull within 19-9 and then, after the teams swapped baskets, Foxcroft went on its 9-0 run that broke the game open.
The Hawks then scored the first eight points of the third period to make it 38-11.