Girls’ basketball MVP: Edward Little’s Jordyn Reynolds excelled through pain

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The Edward Little girls’ basketball team was in a bind.

The Red Eddies — coming off a Class AA North regional title and a runner-up state finish — lost two of their first three games to start the 2016-17 season, and they were in danger of going down in their fourth game, as well, against Cheverus.

Then senior Jordyn Reynolds stepped up.

“We were really, really reeling and hurting,” Edward Little coach Craig Jipson said. “We’d been behind basically the entire game, and she came up with a really big basket with about four minutes left, put us ahead, and then blocked a couple shots down the stretch where Cheverus could have had layups.”

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Edward Little won that game, 37-31, and then reeled off 11 more wins.

“That was a really, really big moment for our season,” Jipson said.

“That Cheverus win really turned our season around.”

Reynolds, a 6-foot-1 post, had big moments and big games — Jipson said that many games she had half of the team’s points and rebounds — throughout the season, helping the Red Eddies make the AA North semifinals while compiling a 15-5 overall record.

Reynolds averaged 14.2 points and 11 rebounds per game. She also had 64 blocked shots and 51 steals.

She was named the KVAC player of the year, and was a Miss Maine Basketball semifinalist.

With her performance and accolades and the team’s performance, Reynolds had a quintessentially great senior season.

But it was tougher than that.

“It was a good last year,” Reynolds said. “I was glad that we were able to get to the playoffs — one of my goals as a freshman was to get to the playoffs all four years, which I did. I was proud of being being picked as a Miss Maine semifinalists, and I was proud to be the KVAC MVP.

“I was just proud to be able to play, because at first we weren’t sure.”

Reynolds played the entire season with a stress fracture in her fibula — she works out a lot and said constant running on “worn down” footwear as the cause.

It’s an injury that isn’t made worse by playing on it, so, for Reynolds, it became about pain tolerance and management.

“There were some times we just had to give her practice off,” Jipson said. “It bothered her, but her teammates love her, they know she was hurting, and I think a lot of her teammates picked up their game because they cared about her so much. They knew she was giving everything she had when she was out there.

“She just gritted through a tough, physical season.”

The pain she endured is the reason the Eddies’ 44-41 win over Brunswick on Jan. 20 was one of Reynolds’ favorite moments of the season.

That game will always be remembered for the buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer made by Jade Perry, but Reynolds had one of her best performances, putting up 20 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.

“It was probably one of my most painful games on my leg, but I had one of my best games, defensively and offensively,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said earlier this month that the injury has healed — “Now I have absolutely zero pain,” she said — so she’ll be able to continue her typical spring and summer basketball schedules as she prepares for her college career, which will begin this fall at Central Maine Community College.

Reynolds’ other personal favorite game was Edward Little’s home win over Lewiston on Jan. 30. The Eddies’ dominated their rivals throughout Reynolds’ career, but in her last time facing them, the Blue Devils put up a fight before losing 41-30.

Throughout the game, Reynolds said she and Lewiston’s Victoria Harris waged a memorable battle in the post.

“It was a really good experience for me, post-wise, because it was me and Victoria Harris going at it, post vs. post. It was a good learning lesson,” Reynolds said. “I learned how to do some of my post moves differently.”

Reynolds was surrounded by scorers during her first three seasons at Edward Little. This season’s team didn’t have the same amount of scoring punch, so it was important for Reynolds to shoulder more of the load.

“This year she really became a better scorer, a better shooter, she looked for her offensive moves more,” Jipson said.

While carrying that offensive load, Reynolds still, Jipson said, “blocked more shots this season than any kid I’ve coached in 20 years as a varsity coach,” and her rebounding was hard to replace when she wasn’t on the floor.

“I know she didn’t get Miss Basketball, but there was no more valuable kid in the state of Maine to their team than Jordyn was to us,” Jipson said.

Jordyn Reynolds (34) of Edward Little High School and Lewiston High School’s Dacia Bail leap for a rebound in front of Lewiston’s Morgan Eliasen during their game in Lewiston in January.

Girls’ Basketball All-Region

Player of the year: Jordyn Reynolds, Edward Little

First team

P Jordyn Reynolds Edward Little Sr.

G Alex Bessey Spruce Mountain Sr.

G Tia Day Monmouth Jr.

G Julia Colby Oxford Hills Fr.

P Victoria Harris Lewiston Jr.

G Bri Jordan Gray-New Gloucester So.

Second team

G Ashley Russell Mountain Valley Sr.

P Skye Conley Gray-New Gloucester Sr.

G Nathalie Theriault Poland Jr.

F Morgan Eliasen Lewiston Sr.

P Jadah Adams Oxford Hills So.

F Abbey Allen Monmouth Jr.

Third team

P Liza White Mountain Valley Sr.

F Izzy DeTroy Gray-New Gloucester Sr.

G Alicia Dumont Gray-New Gloucester Sr.

F Grace Kariotis Gray-New Gloucester Sr.

G Elizabeth Goulette Leavitt Jr.

G Erin Morton Oxford Hills Sr.

Honorable mention:

Chloe Dwinell, St. Dom’s, Sr.; Jordan Grant, Gray-New Gloucester, Fr.; Maighread Laliberte, Oxford Hills, Jr.; Desiree Dumais, Oak Hill, Fr.; Jade Perry, Edward Little, So.; Shie Smith, Winthrop, Sr.

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