WALES — It had been so long since the Oak Hill girls’ basketball team had played a regular-season game that Charlie Castonguay couldn’t exactly remember it.
“It’s was a long time ago,” Castonguay said. “Our game with Carrabec (last week) was postponed. It’s been eight or nine days since we played a regular-season game.”
As a result, the unbeaten Raiders had to shake off some rust Monday. It still didn’t take long for Oak Hill to rally from behind and overwhelm Wiscasset for a 50-30 win. The Raiders used a run of 21 straight points to erase a deficit and break the game open.
The Raiders played in a holiday tourney at Central Maine Community College last Friday, but Oak Hill hadn’t played a regular-season game since beating Telstar the week before. The Raiders held practices, but Oak Hill had been missing that real game feel.
“We’ve been practicing right along,” Castonguay said. “My biggest concern was having that intensity. It took a a few minutes to get it. Then we picked it up and from there, we controlled the game.”
Oak Hill (6-0) got 10 points each from Brianna Mulherin and Danielle Samson. Jamie Prue added nine while Grace Sabine had eight. Wiscasset (3-5) was led by Colleen Hendricks with eight and Tylan Onorato with seven.
“Rough starts have been a big problem for us recently and we definitely have to overcome that,” said Prue, a junior guard. “We have big games coming up and each practice we’re working towards getting a good start.”
The Raiders opened a 5-0 lead but watched the Wolverines score nine straight to build a 9-5 advantage. Onorato had five points during that stretch.
“I think there were some nerves,” Prue said. “We’ve been working on a lot of new stuff. Also, not having a JV game beforehand threw off our pattern a little bit. We’re a pretty consistent team and we’re used to our routine.”
The Raiders, ranked fourth in Western B, also knows what it needs to do to succeed. After taking a time out, Oak Hill turned things around and finished the quarter with 11 straight points.
“We called a timeout, and it was 9-5,” Prue said. “I remember looking up and saying, ‘It’s time to play.’ We all came off and coach was like, ‘It’s time to play, ladies.’ We all looked at each other and said, ‘We’re in control here. We’ve got this.’ Our team picked it up and we took off.”
After a Mulherin basket, Prue sank a free throw and Sadie Goulet converted a steal for a 10-9 lead. Prue hit a jumper. Kayla Veilleux scored off a turnover, and Mulherin hit a corner jumper for the 16-9 lead after the first.
“I think a couple of the subs that came in helped,” Castonguay said. “Kayla Veilleux really ignited us when she came in. She did a great job coming in off the bench. Defensively, she was some really good basketball sense on the court. She stepped up and filled the middle when they were breaking the press. That really made a big difference.”
The Raiders picked up its defensive play. After Wiscasset, which had won two straight, turned the ball over 12 times in the first quarter, the Wolverines had another 12 turnovers in the second. The fed Oak Hill’s transition game and kept Wiscasset away from the slower-paced half-court battle it was trying to establish. The Raiders hit five of its first six shots to begin the second quarter.
“When we get running, we get running, and it’s pretty hard to stop us when we get going,” Prue said. “We work so well as a team. Everyone has a common goal that we just want to take off with it.”
The Raiders opened the second quarter with 10 straight points. The Wolverines went 9:26 between baskets and went from up 9-5 to trailing 26-9. Goulet had a pair of baskets on passes from Sabine and Vanessa Wright during that run. Sabine had a pair of baskets, while Prue scored on a drive.
After Wiscasset got a basket by Onorato and a free throw from Gabby Chapman, the Raiders finished the half with an 8-0 run for a 34-12 lead. Veilleux, Wright, Mulherin and Samson each scored to build the lead.
“I think that’s one of the things we strive for — forcing them to make poor decisions like 10 second violations or five seconds as well as bad passes — as opposed to trying to steal the ball from their ballhandlers,” Castonguay said. “We want to put pressure on them and let them make the mistakes.”
From there, the Raiders used their bench and maintain the lead. Samson had eight points in the second half for Oak Hill.