Boothbay girls win two games in pool play at 2017 Lobster Jam tournament

Posted:  Monday, July 31, 2017 - 3:30pm

A talented Greely High School girls basketball team knocked Boothbay out of the 2017 Lobster Jam tournament with a 52-41 victory at Porter Memorial Gymnasium. The Seahawks won two of three games in pool play last weekend, but lost to Greely in their final pool game.

Boothbay lost to the team which was one of the top contenders in Class A South last season. The Rangers’ roster had several key players from last year’s team which finished as the top team in Class A South’s Heal points and lost in the regional final. But five 3-pointers in the first quarter put Greely ahead 15-6, and Boothbay trailed throughout the contest.

This was year seven for the tournament which brings school girl teams from a variety of classes and regions to Boothbay Harbor to compete.  Greely was joined by Oxford Hills, Cheverus and Medomak Valley in the semifinals. Cheverus was seeking its third consecutive Lobster Jam title, but lost to Oxford Hills in the final.

For the hosts, playing against larger schools in a competitive tournament atmosphere is what Boothbay needs in preparing for the “real” tournament in February. Boothbay easily defeated Waynflete and later edged Winslow in pool play. Boothbay has never advanced to its own tournament’s semifinals. But the Seahawks have another tournament in mind when hosting the Lobster Jam.

“This all about facing larger schools which provides us with competition preparing us for the season and making a run at a state championship,” said first-year head coach Brian Blethen.

Games versus Winslow and Greely were prime examples of the competition Boothbay expects to face. Against Class B Winslow, Boothbay battled the Black Raiders for 32 minutes before emerging with a hard fought victory.

“Winslow is the type of team we want to play. They are intense and resilient, which in turns tests our toughness and resiliency. What we want from these types of games is to be challenged so we will be ready come tournament time,” Blethen said.

Like Greely, Boothbay made it to the regional championship game last season. The Seahawks have a veteran team returning this season, but Blethen is looking to replace personnel lost to graduation with players who haven’t played a lot at the varsity level. Sophomore Chloe Arsenault and junior Maddie Faulkingham both played on the varsity and junior varsity teams last season. They are both expected to share in the team’s ballhandling and scoring duties this season, as are junior Hannah Gentry and freshman Glory Blethen.

“Our message is everyone attacks the basket. Offensively, we play a very aggressive style and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Blethen said. “I’m very happy with what I saw this weekend. Chloe stepped up as did Maddie, Hannah and Glory.”

During the final seconds versus Winslow, the Black Raiders had possession with 2.9 seconds remaining trailing by two points. Winslow called time-out hoping to go the length of the court for a game-tying or winning shot. After Winslow coach Lindsey Withee saw Boothbay’s defensive alignment, she called another timeout.

During Boothbay’s huddle, Blethen said he was impressed with his players’ competitiveness by discussing among themselves their defensive alignment.

“That was all them,” he said. “They saw how Winslow lined up for the final play and reacted to what they saw. They are learning how to play the game on their own and I’m here tweaking a few things here and there.”