Scarborough girls stay unbeaten, tune up for Gorham showdown with win at Portland

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Scarborough junior Sophie Glidden goes up for two of her game-high 17 points during the Red Storm’s 53-35 victory at Portland Monday night. Scarborough stayed undefeated on the year.

Mike Strout photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Scarborough 53 Portland 35

S- 19 14 13 7- 53
P- 8 15 9 3- 35

S- Glidden 5-5-17, Kelley 5-1-11, Malone 4-0-11, Dickinson 2-0-5, Couture 2-0-4, Cowan 1-1-3, Blanche 1-0-2

P- Sargent 2-2-7, Brown 3-0-6, Walsh 1-3-5, S. Eubanks 2-0-4, Griffin 2-0-4, Lynch 2-0-4, Hamilton 1-0-2, Johnson 1-0-2, K. Eubanks 0-1-1

3-pointers:
S (6) Malone 3, Glidden 2, Dickinson 1
P (1) Sargent 1

Turnovers:
S- 15
P- 18

Free throws
S: 7-11
P: 6-17

PORTLAND—Coming off two huge victories and knowing the state’s best team is going to pay it a visit Wednesday, it would have been easy and understandable for Scarborough’s girls’ basketball squad to suffer a letdown Monday evening when it faced winless Portland at the Portland Exposition Building.

Instead, the Red Storm didn’t stumble, took care of business and stayed perfect on the 2016-17 season.

Scarborough never trailed, shot to leads of 7-0, 15-2 and 17-4 and while the feisty, never-say-quit Bulldogs got as close as four points in the second period, the sharpshooting of junior Sophie Glidden helped the Red Storm hold a 33-23 advantage at halftime.

Scarborough went ahead by as many as 16 points in the third quarter, then ended all doubt in the fourth and went on to a 53-35 victory.

The Red Storm were led by Glidden’s 17 points and got 11 points apiece from senior Brooke Malone and junior Lindsey Kelley, improved to 7-0, continued their best start since 2012-13 and dropped Portland to 0-10 in the process.

“Coming in, I didn’t think it would be easy,” said Scarborough coach Mike Giordano. “(Portland’s) a very athletic team. If they can figure out a way to put the ball in the basket, they’ll do damage. We’re happy to get a win and get out of here.”

Red Storm surging

Scarborough entered the game having beaten Portland on five straight occasions, including a 55-33 home victory last winter to take a 10-3 all-time lead in the series (see sidebar, below).

This winter, the Red Storm have lived up to billing as a top threat to Gorham in Class AA South, opening with a 55-44 win at Sanford before downing visiting Windham (44-40), host Noble (56-30) and host Maine Girls’ Academy (45-32), then earning critical home victories last week over highly touted South Portland (46-40) and Thornton Academy (41-39).

The Bulldogs opened with a 52-32 home loss to Deering, then fell at Cheverus (63-32), Oxford Hills (47-31) and Lewiston (67-49) and at home to Edward Little (75-41) in what proved to be the final game for coach Jay Lowery, who resigned. Gerry Corcoran stepped in just before a 50-37 home loss to Sanford. Home setbacks to Gorham (73-36) and Bonny Eagle (61-54) and a 69-44 loss at Bangor followed.

Monday, Portland hoped to get in the win column for the first time, but Scarborough jumped out quickly and took care of business.

Just 51 seconds in, Malone knocked down a 3-point shot to put the Red Storm ahead to stay. 

Freshman Madison Blanche set up Kelley for a layup and Kelley drove for a layup for a quick 7-0 lead before Portland got on the board when senior Andrea Lynch scored on a putback with 5:46 remaining in the opening quarter.

Scarborough then got the next eight points.

Kelley first set up Glidden for a layup, who was fouled on the play and added the free throw for the old-fashioned three-point play. Senior Jordyn Cowan made a foul shot and after Corcoran was called for a technical foul, Glidden sank both free throws before a leaner from Glidden made it 15-2.

The Bulldogs then showed their grit and didn’t roll over.

A driving layup from sophomore Nettie Walsh ended the run, but after a steal by Glidden, Malone made a layup to restore a 13-point bulge.

Sophomore Reagan Brown then banked home a shot for the hosts and Lynch added a putback before a putback from sophomore Josie Couture made it 19-8 Scarborough after one quarter.

In the first eight minutes, Glidden had seven points and Portland turned the ball over nine times, but the Bulldogs would make things interesting in the second quarter.

Senior Taylor Sargent got things started with a 3. 

After Kelley drove the baseline and banked home a shot for the visitors, Portland got six straight points, as senior Kate Johnson made a jumper, senior Rose Griffin scored on a putback and Sargent hit a jumper to cut the deficit to a mere four, 21-17.

Enter Glidden.

With the Red Storm needing a hoop, Glidden sank a 3 with 4:41 to go in the half and 31 seconds later, she made another for a 27-17 lead.

“We sometimes get too much in our heads and force offense too much,” Glidden said. “It’s tough to play here with the depth perception being off, but I’ve been practicing my range this year and it’s helped me.”

Portland got two points back at the line courtesy Walsh, but Kelley made a layup and after a steal, Couture added a layup to stretch the lead back to 12.

After Brown banked home a shot for the Bulldogs, Scarborough freshman Bella Dickinson hit a leaner before a late bank shot from Brown pulled Portland within 33-23 at halftime.

Glidden led all first half scorers with 13 points, while Kelley added eight. Brown had six to pace the Bulldogs.

In the third period, the Red Storm opened it up a little more.

Portland got the first basket, as junior Dominic Hamilton banked home a shot in the lane, but Kelley made a free throw, Kelley drove for a layup and Glidden took a pass from Blanche and made a layup for a 38-25 lead, forcing Corcoran to call timeout.

It helped momentarily, as junior Shayla Eubanks made a layup, but a 3 from Dickinson and a layup by Cowan, from Blanche, opened up Scarborough’s biggest advantage to that point, 43-27.

Eubanks countered with a jumper, Walsh (after her sixth offensive rebound) was fouled and hit one free throw and Griffin knocked down a jumper, but just before time expired in the frame, Glidden set up Malone for a 3 and a 46-32 advantage.

The Red Storm then ended all doubt in the fourth period. 

Malone started the final stanza with another 3 and Glidden set up Blanche for a layup for a 51-32 lead. Glidden hit two free throws and after Sargent sank a pair for Portland’s final points, freshman Kiera Eubanks got one final point at the line for the Bulldogs, accounting for the 53-35 final score.

“We know that every game is important,” Glidden said. “We have to take every team seriously and stay focused. We’ve had the same relative starters and everyone except the freshman had varsity experience, so I’m not surprised we’re doing this well.”

Glidden led the way with 17 points (and six rebounds). Kelley (five boards) and Malone added 11 apiece.

“Those are the girls who will make the plays that make us go,” Giordano said. “All three have had a nice year so far. They have to for us to be successful against the best teams.”

Dickinson had five points, Couture four (to go with five rebounds), Cowan three and Blanche (five rebounds, five assists) two.

“We don’t have just one person that we look to for scoring,” Glidden said. “We have multiple scorers which helps us.”

Scarborough overcame 15 turnovers and made 7 of 11 free throws.

Baby steps

Portland was paced by Sargent’s seven points. Brown had six and Walsh five (to go with 10 rebounds).

“I’m concentrating on (Nettie) because she’s the future,” Corcoran said. “I haven’t seen a better guard than her yet. I’m trying to make her a complete point guard. She acts on everything I ask her to do. It doesn’t matter who’s around. She’s been awesome.”

Shayla Eubanks (four rebounds and two blocks), Griffin and Lynch finished with four points apiece, Hamilton and Johnson had two each and Kiera Eubanks added one.

The Bulldogs dominated the glass to the tune of a 35-29 advantage (18 came on the offensive end), but made just 6 of 17 foul shots and turned the ball over 18 times.

“The girls are playing hard,” Corcoran said. “They’ve come a long way in two weeks. We’re positioning ourselves to win, but it’s little plays at the wrong moments that teams are making on us. We go on runs and make it competitive and if we just could make a couple plays, we’d get over the hurdle. Against good teams who will play in the state tournament, we’re right there. It’s just sad that time is running out. I wish I had more time with my four seniors.”

Showdown time

Portland (eighth in the Class AA North Heal Points standings) looks to get in the win column Monday when it returns to action at South Portland.

“One win would be huge for us,” Corcoran said. “Tomorrow, we’ll practice shooting. Two hard practices, a day off, then we’ll get ready for South Portland.” 

Scarborough (second in AA South) will get to measure itself against the state’s best team Wednesday when undefeated, defending Class AA champion Gorham visits.

“I’m really excited to play Gorham,” Glidden said. “It’s going to be a good game. We’ve worked toward it all season. Even if we don’t come with a win, we’ll show where we’re at.”

“It’s nice to get (Gorham) at home,” Giordano said. “We competed well there last year. We have nothing to lose. It’ll be fun.”

The Red Storm go to Lewiston Saturday and visit Westbrook Monday.

“We’ve had a lot of trouble boxing out,” Glidden said. “We can’t give up second scoring opportunities and work on our defensive rotations.”

“We need to play better because the competition will get much steeper,” Giordano said. “We’re looking for consistency. I believe in the kids. They work hard. A lot of them give us good minutes. I’m excited to see where we stack up.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

The defense of Scarborough sophomore Josie Couture smothers Portland sophomore Reagan Brown.

Portland junior Shayla Eubanks and Scarborough freshman Madison Blanche hit the floor.

Portland senior Andrea Lynch shoots over Scarborough junior Emily Jefferds.

Scarborough junior Lindsey Kelley leans in for a shot as Portland freshman Callie Watson defends.

Scarborough freshman Madison Blanche brings the ball up the court.

Portland sophomore Nettie Walsh, who was a force on the boards at both ends, handles the ball in traffic.

Previous Portland-Scarborough results

2015-16
@ Scarborough 55 Portland 33 

2014-15
Scarborough 42 @ Portland 33 

2013-14
@ Scarborough 61 Portland 59 

2012-13
Scarborough 57 @ Portland 44

2011-12
@ Scarborough 50 Portland 38

2010-11
@ Portland 50 Scarborough 43

2009-10
@ Scarborough 56 Portland 43

2008-09
Scarborough 64 @ Portland 46

2007-08
@ Scarborough 67 Portland 46

2006-07
@ Scarborough 54 Portland 26

2005-06
Scarborough 41 @ Portland 39

2004-05
@ Portland 54 Scarborough 32

2003-04
Portland 65 @ Scarborough 39

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.