PORTLAND — It isn’t often that a high school girls’ basketball player teaches Rick Clark a lesson.
Gray-New Gloucester’s Haylee Cote did just that Tuesday.
Clark has been coaching York for 30 years and realizes he made a mistake covering Cote in his team’s Western B quarterfinal win Tuesday.
Cote, a junior guard, set a new Western B record for 3’s in a game when she hit six against in the loss.
“It was a coaching error on my part,” said Clark. “I’ve seen her play. It took me awhile to figure out how to cover her.”
Cote led the Patriots with 20 points and like her five 3’s in the preliminary win over Mountain Valley, she was the offensive catalyst for Gray-NG.
“I think I’ve got my confidence back, and I just shot 3’s and made them,” said Cote.
Gorham’s Laura Popovics set the record of five back in 2005. Cote hit one in the first and added two more in the second quarter. She kept Gray-NG close in the second half with three more.
“I thought they would have covered me more, but they didn’t until the end,” said Cote.
Late in the game, Clark put Anne Graziano on Cote and rotated her in and out with Ruby Cribby. Cote had just three points in the final quarter.
“I didn’t think she had enough shots,” said Andreasen, who wasn’t aware of Cote’s record after the game. “Late in the game, they were guarding her well. We’ve been depending on Haylee and Maria (Valente) the whole year. “
Cote and Valente combined for 28 of Gray-NG’s 42 points. Though the Patriots came up short in their efforts against the seasoned Wildcats, Andreasen returns both Cote and Valente, a freshman.
“We gave it our best shot,” said Andreasen. “No regrets. We played hard, and the kids played well.”
Allison Conley’s basketball career at St. Dom’s ended Tuesday night, but she left a lasting impression on the Western Class C tournament.
Hall-Dale ultimately beat St. Dom’s, but the Bulldogs weren’t going to do it from the paint. The 6-foot-2 Conley celebrated a statistic that you won’t often see from any player, girl or boy: Eight blocked shots.
”Allie when she’s not in foul trouble, we’re tough to score against inside, and you have to have an outside threat,” St. Dom’s coach Jon Berry said. “They certainly hit those shots tonight.”
Carylanne Wolfington and Kristina Buck combined for six 3-pointers in Hall-Dale’s 45-32 victory.
The Bulldogs only made nine other field goals and shot 15-for-55 overall.
”Our defense was tough as it always is, and the kids rebounded well,” Berry said.
St. Dom’s won a road preliminary game over Dirigo to get here and led 9-2 early.
The Saints will say goodbye to seven seniors. Sophomore Callie Greco was the only underclass starter.
”They played hard the whole year long,” Berry said. ”I think we played our best basketball in February. I’m not going to fault them for not making shots that we really haven’t made most of the year.”
Both Western Class C girls’ semifinals Thursday will be MVC-WMC showdowns. No. 1 Hall-Dale will face No. 4 Traip, and No. 3 Boothbay takes on No. 7 Waynflete.
Don’t let the seeds or the MVC’s domination of the series fool you.
Waynflete, which routed MVC champion and second -ranked Madison on Tuesday, was a regional finalist only three years ago. And Traip is in the second round for the second year in a row after knocking out Jay in 2011.
No team from the WMC has won the region since 1979, when Wells now in Class B pulled it off.