Fort Fairfield, Maine — The Fort Fairfield girls basketball team is moving on to the quarterfinals in Bangor after beating George Stevens Academy, 54-27, in a Class C North preliminary playoff game Tuesday night.
The No. 3 Tigers (17-2) dominated the No. 14 seed Eagles (7-12), leading by more than 20 points for nearly the entire match. Fort Fairfield now plays No. 6 Central Aroostook (15-4) in the quarterfinals, 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 at the Cross Insurance Center.
Sophomore Camryn Ala led Fort Fairfield with 19 points, including a perfect six for six from the free throw line. Junior Kourtney West added 11 points for the Tigers and freshman Kassidy Gorneault had eight.
For George Stevens, sophomore Luna Perry-St.Peter had 13 points, while sophomores Amanda Dorr and Evelyn Dagan added five and four points respectively.
Fort Fairfield quickly took the lead Tuesday night, putting 20 points on the board and holding George Stevens to only one field goal from sophomore Sophia Biggie. Fort Fairfield’s offense continued to perform well in the second quarter, scoring 14 points. While George Stevens Academy was able to put up a few more points, scoring seven, giving Fort Fairfield a 34-9 lead at the half.
The Tigers slowed down in the third, scoring just nine points, but the Eagles were unable to make a comeback, as they again failed to outscore their opponents.
The game remained static in the fourth quarter. George Stevens had its best quarter with 12 points, but Fort Fairfield scored 11 back, ensuring that the Tigers would be the one making it to Bangor.
Fort Fairfield coach Larry Gardner said his team had gone in worried about George Stevens Academy’s potential, particularly their athleticism. He said his players’ effort and stellar defense had won them a trip to Bangor.
Gardner acknowledged that their Bangor opponent, Central Aroostook, is a formidable one, seeing as how the Panthers are the only team to defeat Fort Fairfield this year. Central Aroostook beat Fort Fairfield 61-51 on Dec. 13 and 50-34 on Jan. 24. He said he looked forward to taking them on a big stage.
“They’re a really good team,” Gardner said. “We’ll see what happens.”
George Stevens coach Brandi Ensworth said her team struggled in the first quarter, which she attributed to the lengthy bus ride to get to Fort Fairfield from Blue Hill, but thought they had played amazing after that, despite the loss.
“They’ve improved so much from the beginning of the season,” Ensworth said. “We’re very young. I have high hopes for the next couple of years.”