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Yarmouth junior Cory Langenbach races up the floor as Lake Region sophomore Melody Millett defends during the Lakers’ 39-29 win Tuesday.
Chris Lambert photos.
More photos below.
LR- 5 9 16 9- 39
Y- 5 8 13 3- 29
LR- Huntress 4-7- 17, Jakobs 3-0-6, Millett 2-1-6, C. True 2-0-6, S. True 0-4-4
Y- Brady 3-0-7, Clark 2-3-7, Hattan 3-0-7, J. Kirk 1-2-4, Langenbach 2-0-4
LR (5) Huntress, C. True 2, Millett 1
Y (2) Brady, Hattan 1
YARMOUTH—Yarmouth’s girls’ basketball team had the perennially strong Lake Region Lakers right where the Clippers wanted them Tuesday in their home opener, but despite battling for 32 minutes, Yarmouth still couldn’t find a way to beat its nemesis.
The Clippers were hoping to snap a 12-game skid at the hands of Lake Region, one which dates back over a decade, but Yarmouth started slowly and only produced five first quarter points. Trailing by one at halftime, the Clippers took a short-lived 18-17 lead on junior Johanna Hattan’s 3-pointer early in the third quarter, but the Lakers went on an 8-0 run to take control for good.
When junior Alison Clark made two free throws with 3:32 to play, Yarmouth only trailed by three, but the Clippers couldn’t quite get over the hump and down the stretch, Lake Region made seven of 11 free throws and went on to a 39-29 victory.
Yarmouth got seven points apiece from Clark, Hattan and freshman Claire Brady, but Lakers junior Kristen Huntress led all scorers with 17 points and Lake Region managed to even its record at 1-1, dropping the Clippers to 0-2 in the process.
“It was a good learning game for us,” said Yarmouth coach Chris Strong. “There were some good aspects to it. We executed well on defense, but they hit 3s and that took us out of our offense. Our execution wasn’t clean. We lost confidence as time went on. They hit their free throws.”
On Feb. 25, 2005, Yarmouth edged Lake Region, 45-43, to win its only regional championship.
The Lakers haven’t lost to the Clippers since, capturing 12 meetings in a row (including two in the playoffs) entering play Tuesday. Last year was the closest, as Yarmouth nearly won in Naples before dropping a 50-47 decision.
The Lakers were ousted by eventual champion Greely in last year’s Western B quarterfinals. Friday, Lake Region opened with a 36-26 loss at Wells.
The Clippers, who just missed the playoffs last winter, lost, 36-27, at Gray-New Gloucester in their opener Saturday.
Tuesday, Yarmouth had a chance to finally solve the Lakers but fell just short and the skid hit 13.
Play was sluggish in the first quarter, as the teams combined for just 10 points and 11 turnovers.
Huntress broke the ice with a 3-pointer 1 minute, 47 seconds in. The Clippers didn’t score until 4:02 remained in the opening stanza, when Hattan hit a jump shot. With 1:30 to go, Brady first made her presence felt with a 3 for what proved to be Yarmouth’s biggest lead, but inside of the final minute, Lake Region drew even on a runner from sophomore Lauren Jakobs and the game went to the second quarter tied, 5-5.
Then, both offenses started to turn it up.
A 3-pointer from junior Melody Millett gave the Lakers the lead 54 seconds in.
After sophomore Jessica Kirk set up Hattan for a fastbreak layup, Lake Region senior Spencer True made two free throws, then hit another for an 11-7 lead.
Yarmouth rallied to tie on a pair of Brady jumpers, but a Millett free throw put the Lakers back on top.
With 3:17 left in the half, Clark scored off-balance to put the Clippers ahead, but with 2:19 to go, True set up Jakobs for a layup and Lake Region took a 14-13 lead to halftime.
While Brady had seven points for Yarmouth, the Clippers were hindered by 13 turnovers and the Lakers’ ability to dominate the offensive glass.
The third quarter featured the most offense of the night.
Just 10 seconds in, Kirk hit a runner to give Yarmouth the lead, but Huntress came to life, scoring on a putback while being fouled and adding the free throw for the old-fashioned three-point play.
With 6:44 to go in the period, Hattan’s 3 put the Clippers ahead, 18-17, but they wouldn’t lead again.
After sophomore Chandler True sank a 3 for the Lakers, Brady set up Clark for a basket to tie the score, but Lake Region erupted for eight straight points, as Huntress made a layup, Huntress sank a 3 and Chandler True did the same for a 28-20 advantage.
Out of a timeout, Yarmouth answered with six straight points, as junior Cory Langenbach made a jumper, Kirk sank two free throws and Langenbach hit a leaner.
With 15.9 seconds remaining in the stanza, Jakobs drove for a layup and the Lakers took a 30-26 lead to the fourth quarter.
The Clippers’ defense held Lake Region to just one field goal in the final period, but Yarmouth only managed three points total in the eight minutes.
A Clark free throw cut the deficit to three 21 seconds in, but with 6:07 to play, Millett made a layup. With 3:32 remaining, Clark hit two more free throws to cut the deficit to one possession, 32-29, but that’s as close as the Clippers would get.
The game would come down to the Lakers having to hit free throws and to their credit, they did.
With 2:50 showing, Huntress went to the line for a one-and-one and sank both ends. With 1:59 to play, Huntress did it again and with 41.7 seconds remaining, Huntress hit two more foul shots to essentially ice it. A final free throw from Spencer True with under a second to go accounted for the 39-29 final score.
“I felt we competed for 32 minutes, which is a great sign for a young group of kids,” said Lake Region coach Paul True. “It was more about perseverance and sticking with what we do and being patient. We changed up defensively, which I think had a major impact in the flow of the game. I thought Yarmouth played hard. They’re great kids. I have nothing but respect for Chris and her program.”
Huntress wound up with a game-high 17 points and nine rebounds. Jakobs (six boards), Millett (eight rebounds) and Chandler True all had six points, while Spencer True finished with four points (and four assists).
Lake Region overcame 13 turnovers and 12 of 22 foul shooting, in large part by winning the rebounding battle, 30-23, with 11 of those boards coming on the offensive glass.
“When you shoot 3s, rebounds tend to go further from the basket,” said Paul True. “Kristin Huntress in particular did a great job getting to the ball.”
Yarmouth got seven points apiece from Brady (four rebounds), Clark (eight rebounds and a blocked shot) and Hattan (five boards), while Kirk and Langenbach each pitched in four points.
“We have freshman coming in and contributing,” Strong said. “They don’t have any fear. They have an offensive presence. They’ll make an impact.”
The Clippers were done in by 21 turnovers. They made 5 of 8 free throws.
Lake Region returns to action and has its home opener Friday when Lincoln Academy pays a visit.
Yarmouth is home with Waynflete Friday, goes to Greely Tuesday, then meets visiting Maranacook for the first time Thursday of next week.
The Clippers have beaten the Flyers each of the past two seasons: 43-41 two years ago in Portland and 36-32 last winter at home.
“We have to iron out the kinks and learn,” Strong said. “I’m optimistic we’ll put it together. This group is smart. We’ve had success against Waynflete. We’ll get up for that game. It’s an important game for us.”
Yarmouth freshman Claire Brady shoots over Lake Region sophomore Chandler True.
Yarmouth junior Isabel Bates defends the drive of Lake Region sophomore Lauren Jakobs.
Lake Region junior Kristen Huntress, who led all players with 17 points and nine rebounds, grabs the ball away from Yarmouth junior Johanna Hattan.
Yarmouth sophomore Jessica Kirk defends the drive of Lake Region junior Kristen Huntress.