Houlton girls win second straight state title (from Bangor Daily News Online)

posted Feb 27, 2016, 5:26 AM by RSU 29 Webmaster

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 26, 2016, at 10:03 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 26, 2016, at 11:22 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Houlton High School girls basketball team won the Class C state championship a year ago and became one of few teams to ever capture a title in a higher class the next year Friday night.

Sophomore center Kolleen Bouchard poured in 21 points and also grabbed 12 rebounds, both game-highs, as the Shiretowners beat Gray-New Gloucester 48-35 in the Class B state championship game at the Cross Insurance Center.

The Shires wound up 21-1 and Gray-New Gloucester finished at 17-5.

Houlton turned in an exceptional defensive performance, holding the taller Patriots to a 32.6 percent shooting performance from the floor.

“Our defense was phenomenal,” said Houlton coach Shawn Graham, whose team was tenacious in its player-to-player and also successfully pressured the Patriots full-court from time to time.

“They took away everything we did [well],” said Gray-New Gloucester coach Mike Andreasen, who noted that the Shires did a nice job fronting the ball and helping out on their entry passes into the paint.

“Our defense was huge,” Bouchard said. “There were times when we trapped and they wouldn’t even get a shot off.”

Natalie Hill had 10 points, four rebounds and four assists for the winners. Rylee Warman had nine points, four rebounds and four steals and Aspen Flewelling scored eight points.

Skye Conley had 13 points and six rebounds for the Patriots. Alanna Camerl had six points and six rebounds.

Bouchard not only scored and rebounded, she provided a steady influence on the court as she had the ball much of the time. She also blocked three shots.

Her rebounding was impressive because the Patriots had four players who were at least 5-foot-9.

“I knew I needed to get position and rebound because I’m the tallest player on our team and I have the longest arms,” said Bouchard, who is Houlton’s only player taller than 5-9 at 5-10.

“She was the field general,” said Andreasen. “I had an assistant coach once tell me that you are going to win more games than you lose if you have the best player on the court. She was the best player on the court tonight.”

“She’s a very, very talented player,” said Gray-New Gloucester junior forward Isabelle DeTroy. “Whenever they needed a point or a foul shot, she came through for them.”

Houlton took the lead for good by scoring the last six points of the first half to break a 13-13 tie.

Natalie Hill hit a 10-foot jumper off a Kristen Graham pass, Bouchard passed to Hill for a fast break layup and Bouchard grabbed a defensive rebound and went coast to coast and laid it in.

Houlton outscored Gray-New Gloucester 14-8 in the third quarter to build the lead to 33-21.

Bouchard’s six third-quarter points were sandwiched by 3-pointers by Aspen Flewelling and Rylee Warman. Warman also had a top-of-the-key jumper in the period.

The Patriots never gave up and closed the gap to 38-33 with three minutes left in regulation on a Skye Conley basket in the paint and seconds later a DeTroy steal and pass to Alicia Dumont for a layup.

But that’s as close as the Patriots would get.

Graham called a timeout and told his Shires “basketball is a game of runs. They’ve had their run. Let’s get a couple of buckets and put them away. We’ve been in that situation before and we used it to our advantage.”

The Shires received a pair of foul shot from Warman and, after a Gray-New Gloucester miss, Bouchard grabbed the rebound and was fouled.

She made both free throws to make it 42-33 with 1:45 left.

DeTroy converted a Dumont pass but two more free throws from Hill and Hill’s basket off a rebound sewed it up