Freeport senior Taylor Dostie goes up for two of her 12 points during the Falcons’ 53-39 home win over Mt. Ararat Friday night.
Mike Strout photos.
More photos below.
MA- 9 4 7 19- 39
F- 18 16 11 8- 53
MA- Breed 4-4-12, Greenleaf 4-0-9, Sturgess 2-0-5, Eaton 2-0-4, Lohr 2-0-4, Daulerio 1-0-2, Sirois 1-0-2, Smith 0-1-1,
F- Dostie 4-2-12, Driscoll 5-2-12, Smith 4-1-10, Goodman 4-0-8, Gould 2-0-4, Routhier 1-0-3, Spaulding 1-0-2, Groves 0-1-1, Wall 0-1-1
MA (2) Greenleaf, Sturgess 1
F (4) Dostie 2, Routhier, Smith 1
FREEPORT—Freeport’s girls’ basketball team suffered just its second loss of the season Thursday night and if there was a silver lining, it was that the Falcons had no time to dwell on it.
That’s because they returned to the court Friday evening at home against Mt. Ararat and thanks to a smothering defensive effort, Freeport got back in the win column and continued its climb up the Class B South standings.
The Falcons forced 14 Eagles’ turnovers in the first period and grabbed an 18-9 advantage, thanks in large part to eight points from senior Jessie Driscoll.
Mt. Ararat was still within nine points, 22-13, with just over five minutes to go in the first half, but Freeport quickly ended all doubt, as it closed the second quarter on a 12-0 run to seize a commanding 34-13 advantage, thanks to seven points from senior Taylor Dostie and 14 more forced turnovers.
The Falcons would lead by as many as 29 points, 43-14, after a Dostie steal and layup late in the third period, and while the Eagles were able to come back and make it respectable against the Freeport reserves, the Falcons went on to a decisive 53-39 victory.
Freeport improved to 7-2 at the season’s midway point and in the process, snapped the Eagles’ three-game win streak and dropped them to 3-8 on the year.
“The best part about (last night’s) loss is that we were able to come out and play hard tonight,” said Falcons coach Mike Hart. “The girls didn’t let the loss bother them and that was great to see.”
Freeport opened with a 55-30 victory at Sacopee Valley. After falling at home to Gray-New Gloucester (57-45), the Falcons won at Yarmouth (44-35), at home over Traip Academy (54-27), Lincoln Academy (65-30) and Old Orchard Beach (56-46) and at Poland (55-42) before coming back to earth Thursday with an 80-41 loss at powerhouse Greely. Freeport has played the past three games without seniors Johanna Bogue Marlow, Megan Cormier and Taylor Rinaldi, who were in street clothes Friday.
Mt. Ararat lost its first seven games, six by double digits, but turned things around by downing host Lincoln Academy (42-39), visiting Morse (44-41) and visiting Camden Hills (49-44).
Friday’s game was moved up 24 hours due to anticipated bad weather and in the first-ever countable meeting between the teams, the Falcons got back in the win column.
Freeport took the lead for good 1-minute, 19-seconds in when sophomore Caroline Smith made a free throw. Dostie knocked down a 3 23 seconds later and after Smith scored on a putback, Driscoll made a leaner with 4:52 to play in the first quarter and the Falcons had an 8-0 lead.
The Eagles got on the board 13 seconds later, as senior Lauren Sturgess hit a jumper, but off an inbounds set, Smith set up Driscoll for a layup and after a steal, sophomore Catriona Gould converted a layup to make it 12-2 Freeport.
Mt. Ararat cut its deficit from 10 to five, as freshman Jaden Lohr banked home a shot and Sturgess canned a 3-pointer, but Driscoll made a jumper, Driscoll sank two free throws and senior Allie Goodman got a leaner to fall to push the Falcons’ lead back into double digits.
A layup from sophomore Alexa Eaton in the waning seconds pulled the Eagles within nine, 18-9, but Freeport’s defensive intensity, which forced 14 turnovers, spelled a comfortable early lead.
The Falcons didn’t let up in the second period either and essentially ended the competitive phase of the contest by halftime.
After Dostie hit a baseline jumper, sophomore Theresa Breed answered for Mt. Ararat with a pair of free throws. Gould scored on a putback, but Breed made a layup to make it 22-13 with 5:10 left in the half.
And then, Freeport flipped the switch and pulled away.
The 12-0 run to end the half began when Smith made a jumper in the lane. After a steal, Goodman made a layup and after another steal, Dostie was fouled and hit two free throws.
“We’ve always been a strong defensive team in the fullcourt,” Dostie said. “We try to get out in transition and keep it fast.”
“We did a great job on the back side of the zone reading up the middle and we got out in transition, which was great to see,” Hart said. “We missed some easy buckets, but we never stopped playing and we kept the intensity up.”
After a Dostie 3-pointer, Driscoll set up Goodman for a layup and a free throw from freshman Hannah Groves gave the Falcons a 34-13 advantage at the break.
In the first 16 minutes, Freeport forced a whopping 28 turnovers (while committing only 11). The Falcons were paced by 10 points from Dostie and eight from Driscoll.
The Eagles played hard throughout the second half, but never made a serious run.
Freeport started the third quarter strong, as Smith made a 3, then drove for a basket before Goodman banked home a shot to make it 41-13.
“We came out and did some great stuff in the halfcourt in the third period and got open looks,” said Hart.
With 3:20 left in the frame, a free throw from senior Caitlyn Smith ended Mt. Ararat’s 9-minute, 50-second scoring drought and the Falcons’ 19-0 run.
Dostie then made a layup after a steal and after Mt. Ararat freshman Madeline Daulerio banked home a shot, Hart pulled his starters.
Freeport got a bank shot from sophomore Hannah Spaulding, but Eaton countered with a jumper and Lohr made a layup to pull the Eagles within 45-20 heading for the fourth period.
Mt. Ararat started the final stanza with six straight points, as Breed made two free throws, sophomore Kyla Greenleaf hit a layup and Greenleaf added a jumper to make it 45-26 with 7:07 left.
At that point, Hart sent the starters back to the floor and Driscoll ended the Eagles’ 10-0 run with a putback, but Breed scored consecutive layups to make it 47-30.
After Driscoll hit a baseline jumper for the hosts, Breed drove for another layup.
With 2:56 left, the Falcons scored their final field goal, as sophomore Lindsay Routhier hit a 3-pointer.
Down the stretch, Mt. Ararat got a long jumper from junior Abby Sirois and a layup by Greenleaf, Freeport freshman Rachel Wall made a free throw and Greenleaf sank a 3 to bring the curtain down on the Falcons’ 53-39 victory.
“It was kind of like a doubleheader,” Dostie said. “We were able to wipe the slate clean. We came back out and got everything out of our system and pulled out a win.”
“We don’t share many opponents, so tonight, we just worked on what we do,” Hart said. “We did a great job executing, especially our full-court pressure in the first half. We don’t typically play a zone, but I put one in because we’re short-handed. We rebounded well too.”
Dostie and Driscoll led Freeport with 12 points apiece. Driscoll also had eight rebounds and two steals, while Dostie added five steals and five rebounds.
“Lately, I haven’t shot as much as I should,” Dostie said. “Tonight, I just started shooting and I felt it. It was nothing spectacular in warmups, but it went in and I kept shooting.”
“Dostie had a great night shooting from the perimeter,” Hart said.
Freeport had several other contributors as well.
Smith had 10 points (and three steals), Goodman eight points (and three assists), Gould four points (and five steals), Routhier three points (to go with six rebounds and three steals), Spaulding two and Groves and Wall one apiece.
“We have a really deep bench,” Dostie said. “A lot of people have stepped up. Catriona has stepped up and played a huge role. Allie and Caroline have been scoring a lot.”
“It was great to see some young ones come out and get varsity minutes,” Hart said. “That’s a pat on the back for the starting five for doing their job in the first half.”
The Falcons had a 41-37 rebounding advantage, overcame 25 turnovers and made 7 of 13 free throws.
Mt. Ararat was paced by Breed, who had 12 points and six rebounds, and Greenleaf, who had nine points and three steals.
Sturgess added five points (as well as five rebounds and five steals), Eaton and Lohr each had four, Daulerio and Sirois finished with two apiece and Smith had one. Junior Grace Liedman had five rebounds and three steals.
The Eagles were doomed by 35 turnovers. They made 5 of 6 foul shots.
Mt. Ararat is off until next Friday when it hosts Lincoln Academy.
Freeport has a makeup game at Morse Tuesday, then hosts rival Yarmouth Friday. The Falcons will soon get Bogue Marlow, Cormier and Rinaldi back as well and they should be loaded for bear as they make a run at a high playoff seed.
“I think things are going well,” Dostie said. “Our losses could have been better fought, but I think it will be a really good year if we keep playing like we can. I think as long as we work as a team, I think we can do really good things and go really far.”
“I’m happy where we’re at, but we still have work to do,” Hart said. “We’re playing pretty decent basketball. We’re working well together as a group. It’ll feel good to get a full complement. They’re itching to go. We have to improve every day. We have to get everyone back on the floor, so we can play the style we want to play.”
Mt. Ararat sophomore Theresa Breed lines up a shot. Breed led the Eagles with 12 points.
Freeport senior Allie Goodman goes to the basket as Mt. Ararat freshman Lauren Magno defends.
Mt. Ararat sophomore Alexa Eaton drives as Freeport senior Jessie Driscoll gives chase.
Freeport senior Taylor Dostie looks to pass.
Freeport sophomore Caroline Smith shoots over Mt. Ararat seniors Caitlyn Smith (24) and Lauren Sturgess.
Freeport sophomore Lindsay Routhier knocks the ball away from Mt. Ararat freshman Lauren Magno.
Freeport sophomore Catriona Gould races up the floor.
Freeport senior Jessie Driscoll pressures Mt. Ararat junior Abby Sirois. The Falcons forced 35 turnovers in their victory.
Mt. Ararat freshman Jaden Lohr dives for a loose ball.