Yarmouth junior Alison Clark shoots over Waynflete sophomore Lydia Giguere, left, and senior Anne Veroneau during the Clippers’ 42-23 victory Friday. Clark excelled with 20 points and 17 rebounds.
Chris Lambert photos.
More photos below.
W- 5 6 6 6- 23
Y- 13 7 14 8- 42
W- Brooks 2-7-11, L. Giguere 2-4-8, A. Giguere 1-2-4
Y- Clark 8-4-20, J. Kirk 4-0-8, Langenbach 2-1-5, Brady 2-0-4, Blaschke 0-2-2, Hattan 1-0-2, Bates 0-1-1
YARMOUTH—After a couple of close calls to start the 2015-16 season, Yarmouth’s girls’ basketball team was looking for a spark Friday evening and the Clippers found one in junior Alison Clark.
Clark, who dazzled with her volleyball skills all autumn on the Yarmouth High School gymnasium floor, had a basketball game to remember against visiting Waynflete, posting a double-double of 20 points and 17 rebounds, helping the Clippers get in the win column in the process.
Yarmouth needed a fast start and an 11-0 run produced just that, as a Clark layup put the Clippers ahead to stay and they raced to a 13-5 lead after one quarter.
After a sluggish second period, Yarmouth only was up, 20-11, at halftime, but after scoring seven points and grabbing five rebounds in the first half, Clark was close to unstoppable in the second, scoring 13 points and snaring 12 boards as the Clippers pulled away.
Clark had seven points in the third quarter as Yarmouth extended its lead to 34-17 and added six more in the fourth when the Clippers were never seriously tested and the hosts went on to a 42-23 victory.
Yarmouth also got eight points from sophomore Jessica Kirk and a steady all-around game from junior Cory Langenbach as it improved to 1-2 and dropped Waynflete to 1-3 in the process.
“Coach (Chris Strong) said we need a winning mentality,” Clark said. “I feel like the past couple years, we’ve accepted losing. This win will help us the rest of the season.”
The Clippers lost, 36-27, at Gray-New Gloucester in their opener, then dropped a 39-29 home decision to Lake Region Tuesday.
The Flyers opened with a 38-34 home win over Sacopee Valley, then lost at Wells (47-28) and at home to Freeport (64-34).
Yarmouth beat Waynflete each of the past two seasons: 43-41 two years ago in Portland and 36-32 last winter at home.
Friday, the Clippers took a big step forward.
The Flyers scored first and took their only lead when junior Annika Brooks made a bank shot with 6:24 to play in the first period, but 23 seconds later, Yarmouth junior Johanna Hattan put back her own miss to tie it and with 5:32 to go in the opening frame, Hattan set up Clark for a layup which gave the Clippers the lead for good.
They were just getting warmed up, as Langenbach made a layup after a steal, Clark hit a free throw, Kirk made a layup after a steal and Kirk capped an 11-0 run with a short jump shot.
“A fast start was important,” Langenbach said. “In our past two games, we started slow.”
Waynflete ended a 6 minute, 33 second drought when Brooks made two free throws with 51.4 seconds left in the period, but Kirk answered with a jumper. Sophomore Lydia Giguere then made a foul shot for the Flyers to make it 13-5 after one.
Neither team could do much in the second quarter, combining for just 13 points.
After Kirk gave Yarmouth a 10-point lead with a putback, Brooks and Clippers freshman Clementine Blaschke traded free throws. After Brooks made a layup after a steal, Clark answered with a layup and after Giguere banked home a shot, Clark took a pass from Langenbach and made a layup to keep the lead at 10. With 33.1 seconds remaining before halftime, Giguere made one of two free throws and Waynflete was within hailing distance, down, 20-11, at the break.
The difference in the first half was ball security, as the Clippers only turned it over four times, while forcing 15 Flyers’ giveaways. Seven points from Brooks and six rebounds from junior Ali Pope helped Waynflete stay in the game.
Yarmouth then opened it up in the third period.
Just seven seconds in, Langenbach made a layup, was fouled and hit the free throw to complete the old-fashioned three-point play. After Giguere made a pair of free throws, Clark hit a short jumper and junior Isabel Bates sank two foul shots for a 26-13 lead.
Flyers senior Arianna Giguere answered with two free throws, but Clark grabbed a miss and put it back in, Clark was fouled after another offensive rebound and sank one of two foul shots, freshman Claire Brady made a layup after a steal, Blaschke hit a free throw and with 1:55 to play in the quarter, Clark capped an 8-0 run by taking a pass from Langenbach and making a layup for a 34-15 advantage.
Two free throws from Brooks with 6.6 seconds left made it a 34-17 game heading for the final stanza, where the Clippers put the finishing touches on their victory.
Two Brooks free throws started the final frame, but Clark answered with a bank shot. After Arianna Giguere drove for a layup, Clark hit two free throws and Brady drove for a layup and a 40-21 lead.
Down the stretch, Lydia Giguere hit a leaner and fittingly, the final points of the game came on a Clark putback and Yarmouth went on to a 42-23 victory.
“It feels really good,” Clark said. “We really needed this after our past two losses.”
“This was a big confidence booster,” Langenbach said. “We focus on our defense first. We know that fuels our offense because we’re a quick team and we can anticipate passes. We talked about finishing on transitions and that we were taking good shots that weren’t falling, so we had to continue to focus on shooting.”
“I’m happy,” Strong added. “It’s a big win for us. A good team effort. We knew we needed to attack the basket. We didn’t do that against Lake Region. That was our game tonight, to attack and have no hesitation on the shot. We wanted to get the ball to our post players more. Waynflete is very athletic. Defensively, they gave us a run for our money. We needed someone to take care of the ball and Cory did a good job of that. Our young players are exciting to watch and show a lot of promise.”
Clark stole the show with 20 points and 17 rebounds (11 of which came on the offensive end).
“Coach always tells me to put every rebound I get back up,” Clark said. “I had a size advantage. I had to box out and that really helped.”
“We wanted to find Alison,” Strong said. “She was very impressive. She’s getting more and more confidence. That opens up the outside game for us.”
Kirk added eight points (all in the first half) to go with eight rebounds and three steals, Langenbach had five points, five steals, five assists and three rebounds, Brady finished with four points and three steals, Blaschke (three rebounds and a blocked shot) and Hattan (three rebounds, a block and a steal) both had two points and Bates finished with one.
The Clippers committed just eight turnovers, enjoyed a 46-28 rebounding advantage (25 came on the offensive end) and made 9 of 15 free throws.
Waynflete was paced by 11 points, 11 rebounds and four steals from Brooks.
Lydia Giguere added eight points and four boards and Arianna Giguere had four points.
The Flyers committed 23 turnovers and sank 13 of 18 free throws. They made just five field goals in the game.
“It was tough,” said first-year Waynflete coach Mike Jefferds. “Our point guard (sophomore Izzy Burdick) was injured. It was exam week for kids. We were up against it, but we tried to give our best effort. The girls always play hard. Annika has been our most consistent player to this point. Lydia is consistently doing good things.”
Waynflete hopes to get back in the win column Thursday when rival North Yarmouth Academy pays a visit in the Flyers’ final game of the 2015 calendar year.
“Eventually we’ll get some breaks,” Jefferds said. “I’m trying to keep the girls up and get them to see the big picture and get them to progress to the point where we can win some games and get in the tournament.”
Yarmouth has the daunting task of visiting defending Class B champion Greely Tuesday.
“We have nothing to lose,” said Clark. “We’ll go in and give our all.”
“I think we got off to a slow start this season, but this game will boost our confidence,” Langenbach said. “We’ll focus on slowing down the game and playing the best we can.”
“I think this game was important in the win column, but it was even more important for morale,” Strong added. “We know we have our work cut out for us, but we’ll go in prepared. We know what they have, but we’ll try to make them adjust their game.”
The Clippers are then home against Maranacook Thursday and visit Poland and Sacopee Valley to round out the 2015 portion of their season.
Yarmouth freshman Claire Brady goes up over Waynflete senior Anne Veroneau for a layup.
Yarmouth freshman Clementine Blaschke launches a long range shot.
Yarmouth junior Cory Langenbach attacks the Waynflete defense.
Yarmouth sophomore Jessica Kirk shoots over Waynflete sophomore Ava Farrar.
Waynflete sophomore Lydia Giguere shoots over Yarmouth senior Sarah Kirk.
Waynflete junior Annika Brooks goes up for a shot as Yarmouth junior Johanna Hattan defends.
Waynflete senior Arianna Giguere drives as Yarmouth junior Johanna Hattan defends.