Big fourth quarter helps Penquis get past Stearns

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MILO — The Penquis Valley High School girls overcame an eight-point deficit to start the fourth quarter, taking advantage of being in the bonus well before the opposition and then getting into the double bonus, with a 19-7 scoring advantage in the final eight minutes of play to defeat Stearns High School of Millinocket 40-36 in a Class C North contest on Dec. 19.

Nearly a minute and a half into the fourth quarter foul No. 7 committed by the visiting Minutemen put Penquis in the bonus, and soon after senior Katelyn Bolstridge and sophomore Sydney Fowles both sank free throws on the 1-and-1. Senior Megan Valvo put a missed foul shot back up for two on the offensive rebound, and she made it a 3-point play after being fouled. Valvo’s make from the charity stripe put the score at 31-28 in favor of Stearns, and set the Patriots up in the double bonus with about 5:00 to go (vs. only five fouls for Penquis).

Penquis Stearns basketball

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
NINETEEN-POINT FOURTH QUARTER — The Penquis girls scored 19 points in the fourth quarter, including seven free throws, to defeat Stearns High School 40-36 on Dec. 19. Patriot senior Kylee Trafton drives toward the hoop while being guarded by Stearns sophomore Annalys Robinson.

After the teams traded field goals, senior Camryn Folfe sank two free throws to cut the Penquis deficit to one at 33-32.

Shortly thereafter Valvo connected from beyond the arc to give Penquis the lead at 35-33, the first advantage for the Patriots since the second quarter as Stearns had a 13-2 run in the third quarter. Valvo ended up with eight points in the fourth quarter as part of a contest-best 17 points.

A layup by Minutemen junior Katherine Alley and ensuing free throw after being fouled in the act of shooting put Stearns ahead again at 36-35. Alley had a team-high 13 points.

About a minute later a jumper by senior Lexis Goddard gave Penquis the lead another time at 37-36 with 1:25 to go. On the other end of the court Valvo grabbed the rebound and she was awarded a trip to the line after being fouled on what was the 14th such miscue of the second half for Stearns.

Valvo sank her first shot and, after a 30-second Stearns timeout, made her second to extend the lead to three at 39-36.

The Patriots were able to force an inbounds pass to go out of play, but the team was called for a travel with 28 seconds on the clock. With the team pressing, Goddard intercepted a Minutemen pass and the ball would roll out of bounds but after last touching a Stearns player.

Penquis Stearns basketball

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
PAINT POSITIONING — Penquis sophomore Sydney Fowles has the ball underneath the Patriot basket during the second half with Stearns freshmen Kasey Kenyon (41) and Alisyn Alley behind her.

Valvo’s in-bounds pass went right to Rolfe, who was quickly fouled. Rolfe then made her first free throw to make the game 40-36. Penquis converted seven free throws in the fourth on 7-of-13 shooting while Stearns made just a single foul shot during this stretch.

Rolfe’s second free throw bounced off the rim, but with 4.8 seconds remaining this forced Stearns to go the length of the court with the team down by multiple possessions. The last-second shot missed as Penquis won. The team improved to 3-3 with the win, while Stearns fell to 2-3.

The two teams are scheduled to play in Millinocket at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Penquis 40,
Stearns 30
STR 8 5 16 7 | 36
PEN 10 6 5 19 | 40
Stearns: K. Alley 13,
A. Alley 12, Robinson 5,
Kat. Kenyon 4, Kas. Kenyon 2
Penquis: Valvo 17, Goddard 7
K. Bolstridge 5, Rolfe 5,
Fowles 4, Trafton 2
Records: Stearns 2-3,
Penquis 3-3

Penquis Stearns basketball

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
JUMPING OUT OF THE GYM — Senior Katelyn Bolstridge shoots over Stearns freshman Alisyn Alley with Penquis sophomore Sydney Fowles and Minutemen freshman Kasey Kenyon awaiting a possible rebound during the Dec. 19 contest. Penquis won 40-36.

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