PCHS girls hold off Searsport

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GUILFORD — Leading by 11 early in the fourth quarter, Piscataquis Community High School would see its advantage drop to zero during a Class C North girls basketball contest against Searsport District High School on Dec. 20. The visiting Vikings would tie the game at 26 but PCHS had a 4-2 advantage in the last near three minutes to escape with a 30-28 victory.

A free throw from PCHS senior Erin Speed, who led all players at 13 points, put her team up 24-13 to start quarter No. 4. From there Searsport used an 11-2 run to tie the game at 26-26 with 2:43 left on the clock (the Vikings had a 15-7 edge in points during the final quarter). Searsport junior Mikaela Alley drove in to the post and pulled up for the tying basket, part of eight she had in the fourth quarter on four field goals to lead her team with 12 points on the evening.

After a defensive rebound, Searsport held the ball around the perimeter at its own end to look for a good shot. A jumper bounced off the rim as the rebound was corralled by PCHS to give the team the possession.

Junior Alivia Hunt got the ball along the left block and she dished off a bounce pass to classmate Hope Adkins as Adkins went through the lane. Adkins received the pass and put up a lay-up for two — her only points of the game — to give the Pirates the lead again at 28-26 with 1:31 to go.

Searsport would end up turning the ball over on an errant pass and on team’s next possession junior Ashten Wells stepped out of bounds trying to get around the defender.

The Vikings had three fouls to give before putting PCHS in the bonus, and the team would use two trying to quickly swipe the ball away from Speed.

After the second of these two fouls to give, a Pirate shot missed the hoop and Searsport got the rebound. At the other end of the court the Vikings were called for a 3-second violation to prevent the team from tying the game again or possibly going ahead for the first time.

PCHS put the ball in its point guard’s hand on the in-bounds and Speed was fouled on a reach-in with 19.1 seconds to go. Foul No. 7 on Searsport put the Pirates in the bonus and sent Speed to the line for a 1-and-1.

Speed converted her first free throw attempt to up the lead to three and she sank the second shot to make the score 30-26, as the Pirates had held the opposition off the scoreboard for over two minutes of game time since the 26-26 tie.

Following a 60-second timeout to draw up the play, Searsport ended its scoreless skid as Viking freshman Makenzie Alley put an offensive rebound back up for two to make the game 30-28 with 10 seconds to go.

At the other end, PCHS freshman Meagan Lemieux was fouled in the act of shooting with 4.8 seconds remaining. The first free throw try was no good and the second shot bounced off the rim. The rebound fell into the grasp of Searsport but with the buzzer about to sound all the team could do was launch a desperation heave from well beyond half court that hit the backboard but nowhere near the rim.

The win improved PCHS to 3-1 early in the season, while the Vikings fell to 2-3.

The two teams are scheduled to play again in Searsport at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24.

PCHS 30,
Searsport 28
SEAR 4 4 5 15 | 28
PCHS 13 8 2 7 | 30
Searsport: Mi. Alley 12,
Ma. Alley 10, Wells 4
and Snow 2.
PCHS: Speed 13,
Hunt 6, Riitano 4,
Rowell 4, Adkins 2
and M. Lemieux 1.
Records: Searsport 2-3,
PCHS 3-1.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
LEADING HER TEAM — PCHS senior point guard Erin Speed drives to the hoop around Searsport freshman Makenzie Alley during a Dec. 20 Class C North contest in Guilford. Speed scored a game-high 13 points, including two vital late free throws, as the Pirates held off Searsport for a 30-28 victory to improve to 3-1 on the young season.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
FRONT TO BACK — Pirate senior Lexi Rowell and Searsport junior Mikaela Alley get tied up for a loose ball during the first half of the Dec. 20 contest.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
ON THE HUNT FOR A BASKET — Junior Alivia Hunt has her field of vision partially obscured as she drives toward the hoop against Searsport. At the top of the key is classmate Hope Adkins, who later in the game who score a key basket on an assist from Hunt.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
OVER THE TRIPLE TEAM — PCHS sophomore Olivia Riitano gets a shot off through a crowd of Searsport players in the post.

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