SCARBOROUGH—The Scarborough girls’ basketball team piled on some more convincing evidence to support its position as the team to beat this year when senior captain Jenn Colpitts poured in 21 points as the Red Storm built a 30-point lead after three quarters and helped rest its case with a 58-40 victory over the McAuley Lions Tuesday evening.
Colpitts did everything for Scarborough besides steam the hot dogs at concessions, adding eight steals and seven assists to her game-high scoring effort, before checking out with over a minute still left to play in the third leading by 30 points, 54-24.
The Red Storm put together a 10-0 run to start the second quarter on their way to a 36-20 advantage at the half, then ripped off another 10-straight to begin the third, cruising to a surprisingly easy 18-point win over the Lions to remain unbeaten on the season at 6-0.
“I try and let the game come to me as much as I can,” Colpitts said. “That’s what happened tonight. We know that if we pressure the ball and play good defense, it will get our offense going and help us score easy points. Every team is going to come out and give us their best effort. We have to come prepared to play our best basketball. Right now we’re just taking it one game at a time.”
With the loss, McAuley fell to 4-2 and will look to rest up over the holiday break, hoping standout junior forward Rebecca Knight will recover from her ankle injury soon enough to rejoin the lineup for the second half of the season.
Colpitts scored eight points each in the first and third quarters, to go with five in the second, then sipped on a Dixie cup at the end of the bench for the entire fourth. She hit one 3-pointer and five other hoops to go with 8-for-11 shooting from the line to lead all scorers. Her last two points of the night, a pair of free throws, came on the break after her final steal, and emptied the home bench with 1:08 still to play in the third quarter of another statement-making win for a Red Storm team that has coaches around the league fumbling for the clipboard in search of answers.
“(Colpitts) is the consummate team player,” said Scarborough coach Jim Seavey. “She has great instincts for the game and real nose for the ball. She does whatever it takes to make this team successful. As she goes, we go.”
Scarborough senior forward Christy Manning, widely considered the league’s top player, got off to a relatively slow start against McAuley’s long frontcourt tandem featuring 6-foot-2 shot-blocking phenom, sophomore Alexa Coulombe, and 6-foot-2 senior Caitlin Cimino. Manning scored just three points in the first quarter, but dropped seven more in the Red Storm’s 10-0 run to start the second and finished with 12 points on the night.
With Colpitts penetrating into the lane from the wing for the shot or slipping passes between defenders to Manning setup to score on the opposite block, Scarborough overcame Coulombe and Cimino’s interior size by forcing each to the bench with three fouls before intermission.
Coulombe, after swatting away a school record 16 shots in the Lions 53-29 win on Friday at home against Noble, was whistled with her third personal late in the first quarter and grabbed a seat next to coach Wil Smith until the fourth. After scoring seven points in the first, Coulombe sat out the middle portion of the game, then returned in the fourth quarter with the game well out of reach and netted eight more to finish with a team-high 15 points.
Cimino picked up her third foul with 3:15 left before the half, stepping across the lane in an attempt to cut off Colpitts who had ball-faked behind the three-point stripe and dribbled into the paint for a better look. Colpitts swished both the foul shots she was awarded for a 32-16 Scarborough lead that would remain right there at 16 points at half (36-20).
Freshmen guard Hannah Cooke impressed with 10 points for the Lions. Cimino finished with six.
“The foul trouble killed us,” said Smith, “We’re already down two starters and a sixth man. We’re starting to get down pretty deep in our bench. That really changed everything for us. We battled out there until the end, but that’s a good team. Scarborough is a senior team. That’s what senior teams do. They have won championships in other sports. We need to get healthy, take the next couple of days to rest. We’ll learn from this and look forward to the next time.”
The Red Storm strung 10 unanswered points together to start the third quarter, opening their first 20-point lead just two minutes in when Manning collected a weak-side rebound and put it back up and in for a 40-20 lead.
Scarborough outscored the Lions 18-4 in the third to put the game out of reach at 54-24 to begin the final quarter. Senior guard Brittany Ross scored nine points for the Red Storm, while senior forward Sarah Moody added eight.
Scarborough has been tested only once so far, sneaking by the two-time defending state champion Deering Rams, 52-50 at home, but faces a grueling schedule in the coming weeks, starting with an oddly-timed showdown with the always-tough Biddeford Tigers (5-1) Monday at 1 p.m.
The Red Storm will be idle over the passing of the New Year and resume in 2010 to face the mettle of the conference in five straight games, three of them on the road. Scarborough welcomes South Portland out of the chute on Tuesday, Jan. 5 at home, then hits the road for back-to-back games with Thornton Academy (Jan. 7) and the Cheverus Stags (Jan. 9).
McAuley resumes its season on Jan. 5 at Bonny Eagle, then enters its own little rough patch with South Portland slated to visit Jan. 7 and Biddeford on tap at home after that. The Lions then travel to Portland and Sanford to round out their next five games.