LIVERMORE FALLS – Livermore Falls High School’s most successful girls’ basketball season in two decades got immeasurably better Monday night.

The Andies routed the Jay Tigers, 70-51, to complete a Mountain Valley Conference regular-season sweep of their fiercest rival and maintain the inside track to an automatic berth in the Western Class C quarterfinals next month.

Oh, and just in case Livermore Falls (12-3) needed additional cause for celebration, the Andies earned a chance to shave coach Frank Donald’s head. Donald promised everyone on the team at least one round with the razor if Livermore Falls won by 15 points or more.

“That’s the deal,” Donald said. “I don’t know what we’ll do if we win a (tournament) game in Augusta. Paint whatever’s left green, I guess.”

It was a hairy night for Jay (10-5). The Tigers fell into a quick 5-0 hole, watched that deficit widen to 19 points in the second quarter and couldn’t whittle it underneath nine in the second half.

Taryn Flagg led Livermore Falls with 24 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, but the Andies enjoyed splendid contributions from each of their top seven players.

Rachel Ventrella added 14 points and combined with Flagg for seven 3-pointers. Marjorie DeBrosky and Jenika Kelley each scored 11 points and hooked up for 15 rebounds, pushing the Andies to an astounding 46-20 advantage on the backboards.

Rebecca Leclerc (eight assists, four steals), Lacey Hazelton (six points, six rebounds) and Caryn Howell (four points, six boards) also shone for the Andies, who are the highest-scoring team in the MVC.

“We were ready to play as a team, and we gave it all we had,” said Flagg. “We feel like we don’t have to depend on one player.”

Jay leaned heavily on explosive junior Kaylie DeMillo, who led all scorers with 28 points. She scored 16 of those in a second quarter in which Livermore Falls actually extended its lead from 15-8 to 41-27.

DeMillo and Jessica LaBrecque each sank a pair of free throws to punctuate Jay’s short-lived rally in the third period, with LaBrecque’s connections slicing the gap to 45-36. But Flagg answered with five points in a quick 9-2 run, including a steal and a traditional 3-point play, to put the Andies into cruise control.

“We’re a better team than we showed, but we sure didn’t look prepared,” said Jay coach Chris Bessey. “I’m the coach, so that’s my responsibility. Anytime you lose a game like this, it’s not a good feeling. You hope you go back and find whatever went wrong, because you don’t want it to happen again.”

Livermore Falls has games remaining against fellow tournament shoo-ins Madison and Telstar. A sweep would cement either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the region for the Andies, who haven’t won a Western Maine title since 1987.

They could see Jay again in a quarterfinal or semifinal game. But bragging rights belong squarely to the Andies for now.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Flagg said. “Our first game against them was closer, but I think I enjoyed this one even more.”



Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.