Success has been the name of the game for the Hope girls basketball team this season. The Hawks soared over everyone they played in the regular season, and, continued those heights through the playoffs.

Going through a season unbeaten is a tall order, but Hope put the finishing touches on their unblemished campaign on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at Lincolnville Central School.

The Hawks (15-0) flew past, and held off, St. George (13-2) 56-50 to capture the Busline League middle school small school division championship.

Hope was No. 1 in the North and St. George No. 1 in the South. The championship game, played in a packed gymnasium in front of a standing room-only crowd, was a makeup from Saturday, Feb. 10.

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On Tuesday, Hope came out strong, just as the team had the entire season, and used a 14-2 first-quarter run, to put much-needed distance between the Hawks and Dragons. Hope led 16-7 after the first quarter, 30-22 at halftime and 44-35 at the end of the third quarter.

From the 1:42-mark of the opening stanza until the end of the game, St. George chipped away, but, ultimately, ran out of time for a comeback.

Team members for Hope, coached by Maxwell Niles, included: Molly Blemaster, Mila Bonemetti, Alma Bournival, Olivia Brown, Anna Jordan, Mattie Luce, Ella Powers, Tessa Whitley, Sophie Ryan, Kirsten Jones, Georgia Heintzman and Abby Harrison.

Team members for St. George, coached by Chris Mills, included: Cassi Evans, Anna Kingsbury, Noelle Delano, Victoria Balla, Audrey Leavitt, Ahlivia Morris, Ava Mitchell, Sophia Vigue and Justyce Long.

Leading a balanced scoring attack for Hope was Luce with 16 points. while Bonemetti added 15 and Whitley 14.

The Hawks also got scoring from Powers with six points, while Jordan added four and Brown chipped in with three. The team netted 6-of-8 free throws (75 percent).

For St. George, Morris led the way with a stellar 22-point performance, while Leavitt tallied eight; Kingsbury and Evans, six; and Delano and Balla, four. The Dragons netted 1-of-6 (16 percent) from the charity stripe.

St. George got the scoring started when Morris hit a high-arching shot that swished through the basket, but, from then on, Hope took control.

The Hawks used superb ball movement down the court to go on a 14-0 run for the next five minutes in the first quarter, before the Dragons started to sink their buckets.

St. George hung around with the Hawks the rest of the way, and even got within four points with minutes to play in the game, but Hope converted its shot attempts, while the Dragons missed key shots down the stretch.

In the North playoffs, No. 1 Hope beat No. 4 St. George and No. 2 Vinalhaven to earn a spot in the championship game.

In the South playoffs, No. 1 St. George beat No. 4 Bristol and No. 3 Woolwich for a berth in the championship game.

The final regular-season standings in North included: Hope 12-0, Vinalhaven 9-2, Lincolnville 8-4, St. George 7-5, Searsport 4-5, North Haven 1-10 and Appleton 0-11. Hope received a first-round playoff bye.

The final regular-season standings in South included: St. George 11-1, Nobleboro 10-2, Woolwich 8-4, Bristol 6-6, Jefferson 5-7, Wiscasset 2-10 and Bristol ‘B’ 0-12. St. George received a first-round playoff bye.