High school basketball

Defensive-minded Medomak Valley girls jayvees have ball at 13-5

By Staff | Mar 15, 2019

Waldoboro — The Medomak Valley High School girls varsity basketball team may have had an earlier-than-hoped-for exit from the Class A North playoffs, but more talent — and help — seemingly is on the way as the Panther junior varsity team had a stellar 2018-19 campaign.

Led by coach Jennifer Hatch, the Panthers prowled to a 13-5 record, with many victories over topnotch subvarsity opponents.

Team members included Alyssa Creamer, Ruth Havener, Julia Kunesh, Zaniah Puchalski, Autumn Ripley, Eliza Spear, Baylee Stewart, Grace White, Emma Kunesh, Chloe Blake and Elizabeth Flanagan.

Hatch said her team “had great games against all our rivals, including an overtime win over Gardiner [and] great matchups against Lincoln Academy, Camden [Hills] and Oceanside,” with the Panthers most impressive win being a 60-54 triumph over Hampden Academy.

“We had to work for every win and we were within striking distance of every loss,” she said. “Even with our biggest loss to Brunswick, we were only down six points going into the fourth quarter. Another great game that demonstrated the grit these girls have was against Lawrence, where we found ourselves down 26-8 early in the second quarter. From there, we outscored them 41-29. Although we lost, the girls fought hard to the last second and were able to match up exceptionally well against a very good jayvee team.”

While top scorers varied from game to game, Ripley, Creamer, White and Blake typically paced the offense the coach said.

And all 10 players “could wreck havoc” on defense.

“[They] could [all] force turnovers against their opponents,” the coach said. “They pressed fullcourt most games and scored the majority of their points off of defensive pressure and quick reads resulting in steals and run outs.”

Eight of the 10 players on the team were freshmen, which bodes well for the Panther program as a whole over the next few seasons.

“This shows the potential for the future of our program as we have a strong group of girls that will be filling some big shoes from the group of seniors graduating this year,” she said.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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