Waynflete girls hold off NYA’s upset bid

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Waynflete senior Annika Brooks goes up for two of her team-high 15 points during the Flyers’ 45-40 win over North Yarmouth Academy Tuesday. Waynflete held on to down the Panthers for the 24th straight time.

Joe Carpine / 365digitalphotography.com photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Waynflete 45 NYA 40

NYA- 4 16 8 12- 40
W- 15 11 12 7- 45

NYA- K. Larson 6-3-18, Plummer 4-2-10, M. Larson 3-0-6, Hamblett 2-0-4, Tufts 1-0-2

W- Brooks 6-3-15, Giguere 5-0-11, Olney 3-0-8, Burdick 3-0-6, Pope 2-1-5

3-pointers:
NYA (3) K. Larson 3
W (3) Olney 2, Giguere 1

Turnovers:
NYA- 26
W- 18

Free throws
NYA: 5-6
W: 4-6

PORTLAND—The streak continues.

Barely.

For over a decade, Waynflete’s girls’ basketball team has owned rival North Yarmouth Academy, but Tuesday afternoon, the Panthers almost ended their frustration.

The Flyers, who beat NYA by 21 points last month in Yarmouth, shot to a 15-4 first quarter lead behind eight points from senior Annika Brooks and nine Panthers’ turnovers, but NYA caught fire in the second period, went on a 12-0 run, with 10 of those points coming courtesy freshman Katie Larson, to make it a one-point game.

The Panthers never could take the lead, however, and Waynflete was up, 26-20, at halftime and 38-28 after three quarters.

In the fourth, NYA made one final push, twice drawing within five points, but the Panthers couldn’t score the final 3 minutes, 41 seconds and the Flyers were able to hold on and win, 45-40.

Brooks dominated the stat sheet with 15 points and 17 rebounds, Waynflete got contributions from everyone who took the floor and were able to overcome Larson’s 18 points as it improved to 6-5, ended NYA’s four-game win streak and dropped the Panthers to 5-5 in the process.

“We couldn’t match their intensity at certain points of the game,” said Flyers coach Mike Jefferds. “But our key players stepped up when they needed to and they delivered.”

Closing the gap

Entering play, Waynflete had beaten NYA in 23 straight meetings, including a 55-34 victory Dec. 20 in Yarmouth.

The Panthers have played much better since then and have already easily eclipsed last year’s two victories. NYA opened with a 36-26 home loss to Old Orchard Beach. After enjoying a 58-35 victory at Hyde, the Panthers lost, 33-29, at home to Traip Academy, at home to Waynflete, then at Richmond (44-33) to close the 2016 portion of the schedule. Once the calendar changed, NYA hit its stride, beating visiting St. Dom’s (46-41), host Seacoast Christian (47-33), host Buckfield (62-30) and visiting Hyde (62-32) for its first four-game win streak in three years.

Waynflete opened with a 38-29 home victory over Sacopee Valley, then lost, 55-53, at Freeport and 55-23 at home to Yarmouth. After their win at NYA, the Flyers lost, 63-44, at Lake Region to close the old year. Waynflete started 2017 with a 53-22 home loss to visiting Wells, then won at Traip Academy (37-32), lost at Old Orchard Beach (46-30), beat visiting Greater Portland Christian School (48-16) and won at St. Dom’s (40-37).

Tuesday, NYA sought its first win over Waynflete since a 60-52 home triumph Jan. 17, 2006, but the Flyers did enough to beat the Panthers for the 24th straight time.

It took nearly two minutes for the scoring ice to be broken, as NYA couldn’t hold on to the ball and Waynflete couldn’t hit a shot, but with 6:03 left in the first quarter, senior Ali Pope set up Brooks for a layup and the Flyers went ahead to stay.

After Waynflete junior LZ Olney knocked down a 3-pointer, the Panthers got their first points, as sophomore Sydney Plummer scored on a putback, but the next six points went to the hosts, as Brooks was fouled after grabbing an offensive rebound and hit both free throws, Brooks finished a feed from junior Lydia Giguere and made a layup and Brooks scored on a putback to make it 11-2.

After sophomore Sydney Plummer answered with a putback, Olney knocked down a shot just inside the 3-point arc and Giguere banked home a shot for a 15-4 lead after one quarter.

Brooks led all scorers with eight points in the frame and Olney added five. NYA was stymied by nine turnovers, but would clean it up and rally in the second period.

After Brooks took a pass from Pope and made a layup to start the frame, Panthers sophomore Maggie Larson scored on a runner. Flyers junior Izzy Burdick hit a bank shot to make it 19-6, but the next dozen points went to the visitors.

Plummer got the run started with a layup by Plummer (assisted by Larson), then Katie Larson warmed up, draining a 3, making a layup after a steal, hitting two foul shots, then burying a 3 to make it a one-point game, 19-18, with 2:42 to go before halftime.

“We just gave up a little bit and stopped playing our hardest,” Brooks said. “They’re a well-coached team. They’ve gotten a lot better.”

“I think they came with more intensity,” Jefferds said. “(NYA coach Seth Farrington’s) doing a great job with that team. They took away some of our strengths.”

After Katie Larson missed on a chance to put NYA ahead, Pope got an offensive rebound, put it in while being fouled, then sank the free throw to complete the old-fashioned three-point play.

Plummer answered with a layup, but the Flyers finished strong, getting a layup from Brooks after a baseline drive and a jumper from Burdick for a 26-20 advantage at halftime.

Brooks had 12 points, eight rebounds and two steals in the first half, while Katie Larson led the Panthers with 10 points.

In the third quarter, NYA continued to pressure, but couldn’t get the lead.

A putback from sophomore Helen Hamblett and another from senior Lindsay Tufts pulled the Panthers within two, 26-24, but after Brooks kept possession alive with an offensive rebound, Giguere hit a key 3-pointer.

Hamblett made a layup to again make it a one-possession game, but after Olney got an offensive rebound, Brooks made a layup and in transition, Burdick set up Giguere for a layup with a pretty pass for a 33-26 lead.

After NYA got a driving bank shot from an impossible angle from Katie Larson, Waynflete closed the frame with a jumper from Burdick, a free throw from Brooks and a layup from Pope (set up by Olney) to restore a double digit advantage, 38-28.

In the final stanza, the Flyers were able to hold on.

After Maggie Larson drove for a layup 22 seconds in, Giguere answered with a jumper.

Katie Larson hit a 3, but another Giguere jumper made it 42-33.

After Maggie Larson drove for a layup and Plummer made two foul shots, Olney sank a clutch 3 for a 45-37 lead with 4:11 to go.

Katie Larson answered with a three-point play with 3:41 to go, but neither team would score again.

NYA had several chances to make it a one-possession game, but as it did to start the game, it committed untimely turnovers and Waynflete was able to run out the clock on its 45-40 win.

“Our press helped us a lot,” Brooks said. “We got really tired, but we had to push through it. It’s not just about one player, it’s about the whole team helping us win.”

Brooks did the most damage for the Flyers, scoring 15 points, grabbing 17 rebounds and also dishing out three assists and registering three steals.

“I got some great passes from my teammates and I was there for rebounds,” Brooks said. “I box out and try to get the ball and be aggressive.”

“It’s a common theme for Annika,” Jefferds said. “She just keeps battling. After the first quarter, almost every shot she took was off a rebound. She doesn’t stop. She has a great motor. She’s a great leader as a senior.”

Giguere added 11 points (to go with four rebounds and two blocked shots), Olney had eight points, Burdick six and Pope five (to go with nine boards, three steals and two assists). Sophomore Emi Boedeker (five rebounds, three steals and a block) and junior Ava Farrar played key minutes off the bench.

“Emi always does a good job when she’s in there,” Jefferds said. “We can count on her to bring energy. We call her ‘Annika Junior.’ Ava gave us good minutes too in the first half. Her energy level is great. She was flying around. Izzy battles all the time. She gets beat up a lot, but she just goes.”

Waynflete enjoyed a 42-29 rebounding advantage, registered 14 steals, overcame 18 turnovers and made 4 of 6 free throws.

NYA was paced by Katie Larson’s 18 points. Plummer added 10 (to go with eight rebounds and four blocks), Maggie Larson six (to go with five boards, four assists, three blocks and two steals), Hamblett four (to go with 10 rebounds and two blocks) and Tufts two (to go with eight boards and two assists).

The Panthers committed 12 fewer turnovers than in the first meeting, but still gave the ball away 26 times. They made 5 of 6 foul shots.

“The kids worked hard,” Farrington said. “We followed the scouting report better after the first quarter. We got better handling pressure. Our defense sparked us. We rebounded better. We got the ball to who we wanted to shoot it. In the fourth quarter, we were down five and turned the ball over. When you’re not used to winning, when crunch time comes, sometimes you make mistakes and fatigue set in too.”

Making the tournament

Both teams hope to get to the playoffs and take their chances.

NYA (currently ranked 10th in the Class C South Heal Points standings) is back in action Thursday, at home versus Sacopee Valley. After going to Traip Saturday, the Panthers have a home game against Richmond next Wednesday, then go to Old Orchard Beach two nights later. Home games against Pine Tree Academy, Buckfield and Temple Academy and a trip to St. Dom’s complete the schedule.

“We’re doing good things,” Farrington said. “We’re here to change the culture and mindset of what people think of NYA basketball. We’re more structured and schematically sound. We’re more organized. Playoffs are the mindset. We want to get in and see who we match up with. We hope to finish strong.”

Waynflete (sixth in Class C South) has a huge test Friday when Class A South contender Falmouth pays a visit. After hosting St. Dom’s Tuesday, the Flyers go to Poland next Friday. Home tilts versus Old Orchard Beach and Traip and games at Gray-New Gloucester and Sacopee Valley also remain.

“We’ll keep working hard in practice,” Brooks said. “I feel like we’re coming together.”

“Falmouth will be a tough game,” Jefferds said. “Next week, we have St. Dom’s and we already had a battle with them. It won’t get any easier. We take it game by game. Our goal is to make it to Augusta this year. The first step is to make it to a prelim.”

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

Waynflete junior Lydia Giguere passes the ball as NYA sophomore Sydney Plummer defends.

Waynflete junior LZ Olney lines up a shot.

NYA sophomore Maggie Larson drives to the basket as Waynflete junior Izzy Burdick defends.

NYA senior Lindsay Tufts floats for a shot as Waynflete junior Izzy Burdick looks on.

NYA sophomore Maggie Larson goes up for a layup.

Recent Waynflete-NYA results

2016-17
Waynflete 55 @ NYA 34 

2015-16
@ Waynflete 49 NYA 23
Waynflete 64 @ NYA 23

2014-15
Waynflete 63 @ NYA 12
@ Waynflete 54  NYA 13

2013-14
@ Waynflete 78 NYA 26
Waynflete 53 @ NYA 28

2012-13
@ Waynflete 76 NYA 22
Waynflete 75 @ NYA 25

2011-12
Waynflete 45 @ NYA 28
@ Waynflete 69 NYA 43

2010-11
Waynflete 65 @ NYA 49
@ Waynflete 69 NYA 49

2009-10
@ Waynflete 53 NYA 26
Waynflete 61 @ NYA 36

2008-09
@ Waynflete 62 NYA 30
Waynflete 43 @ NYA 36

2007-08
Waynflete 51 NYA 28
@ Waynflete 51 NYA 26

2006-07
Waynflete 70 @ NYA 45
@ Waynflete 62 NYA 24
@ Waynflete 54 NYA 34

2005-06
@ Waynflete 52 NYA 51
@ NYA 60 Waynflete 52
@ Waynflete 45 NYA 41

2004-05
@ NYA 39 Waynflete 34
NYA 43 @ Waynflete 38

2003-04
@ Waynflete 52 NYA 38
Waynflete 52 @ NYA 48
Western D quarterfinals
Waynflete 52 NYA 36

2002-03
Waynflete 57 @ NYA 28
@ Waynflete 48 NYA 39

2001-02
@ Waynflete 59 NYA 28
Waynflete 38 @ NYA 29

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