Best in the West! Lakers bury Greely in finals

By Wayne E, Rivet

Staff Writer

PORTLAND — With his team up 19 points at halftime, Coach Paul True asked his club what play they should run to start the second half.

After several suggestions, Coach True offered up a play that immediately drew lots of cheers.

“I told them that we should run a screen and make a 3-pointer and put them away — make a statement,” the coach said. “That’s exactly what we did.”
Senior Abby Craffey drained a 3-pointer to make it 32-10, and the Lakers ultimately made a major statement with a 49-30 dismantling of third-ranked Greely to capture the Class B West title Saturday at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Lake Region (19-2) heads to the state championship game this Friday against East champ Presque Isle (21-0) at the Bangor Auditorium.

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Sydney Hancock 6-8-22, Tiana-Jo Carter 4-1-9, Abby Craffey 3-0-9, Kelsey Winslow 1-5-7, Allison Clark 0-1-1, Sarah Hancock 0-1-1. 3-Pointers: Sy. Hancock 2, Craffey 3.


Ashley Storey 5-0-10, Jaclyn Storey 3-0-6, Caton Beaulieu 2-0-4, Haylee Munson 1-1-4, Ellie Weickert 2-0-4, Abby Nielsen 0-2-2. 3-Pointers: Munson 1.


“All the credit goes to these kids,” Coach True said. “They put a lot of time and effort into this, and they’ve played some incredible basketball.”

It was sweet revenge for the Lakers, who lost to the Rangers on a last second shot at the tail end of the regular season, 43-41.

“We knew we didn’t play our best game that night, yet we were right there. We had some people out, and we had a few injuries,” the coach said. “We knew this time, things would be different.”

Different, indeed.

The Lakers’ approach was much like a blueprint they used to beat Falmouth a few years ago to win the West title. LR guards pressured Greely’s backcourt, preventing them from getting any good looks along the perimeter while also cutting down the passing lanes to the Rangers’ potent inside players, Jaclyn and Ashley Storey. Ranger guards managed just eight points (their first points coming with 50 seconds left in the third quarter), while Ashley Storey, who had a big 19 point game against the Lakers in the regular season, had just 10 points.

Meanwhile, LR junior guard Sydney Hancock saved her best offensive night when all the marbles were at stake. She scored 22 points, including two 3-pointers and collected 5 rebounds. Hancock was named the Mike DiRenzo Award winner, honoring the tournament’s outstanding player-sportsman.

The Lakers started quickly, building an 8-2 lead as Craffey buried a 3-pointer. She connected for three 3-pointers to tie a tournament record with eight. Craffey finished with 9 points.

Continuing their torrid outside shooting, the Lakers pulled away as Hancock scored 10 points in the second quarter, including two treys that gave the team a comfortable 29-10 halftime lead.

“You have good shooting days, you have off shooting days,” Hancock said. “That’s how the game goes. Today, I mean, this is it. I decided it was the time to let go. I was feeling it and the confidence just kept growing.”

Playing with a big lead allowed the Lakers to remain intense yet confident. They kept the pedal to the floor with a 13-0 run to build a 36-10 third quarter lead, and never looked back.

A major differential was the Lakers attack of the paint, where they enjoyed a sizeable advantage in free throw opportunities — 27 attempts to Greely’s 4. The Lakers, who struggled at times this year at the line, made 16.

Now, there is just one unfinished piece of business for the Lakers — winning a Gold Ball, a prize that has slip through their fingers since 1975.

Stat Lines

Turnovers: LR 18, GRE 14

Free Throws: LR 16-of-27, GRE 3-of-4

Rebounds: Carter 14, Sy. Hancock 5, Winslow 4, Craffey 1, Clark 1, Turner 1, Sa. Hancock 1, Wandishin 1.

Steals: Winslow 2, Sy. Hancock 1, Craffey 1, Sa. Hancock 1.

Blocked shots: Carter 5.

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