It hasn’t taken long for the Leavitt girls’ basketball team to grab the spotlight in Class B.

The Hornets have started the season 4-0 and have shot to the No. 1 ranking in Western B. Part of that early success includes a convincing win over the defending state champs from Waterville, ending the Purple Panther’s 67-game winning streak.

With much of its team back from a club that reached the Eastern A prelims last year, the Hornets had high expectations for themselves this year. Now with an impressive start, averaging nearly 70 points per game while allowing 40, the Hornets are getting a lot of attention and hearing a lot of predictions for tournament success.

“The target is on our backs,” said freshman guard Kristen Anderson. “We know other people are predicting big things for us. We just need to look ahead one game at a time.”

Coach Tammy Anderson says her team is trying to stay focused and not get caught up in all the talk and expectations. The Hornets have great potential to go far this season, but that’s a long way down the road right now. She’s trying to make sure her kids come to play every game and have fun. The Hornets are a fast-paced and aggressive team that can be exciting when they’re playing their game.

“Mentally, they can’t have a let down,” said Tammy Anderson. “That’s what we talk about. I need them to come up for every game. They just need to have fun. If they can play and have fun, they’re fun to watch. It’s when they get all intense and shaken up about things when there’s no reason to be.”

Leavitt has Camden (3-1) on the schedule before New Year’s but then has both Medomak Valley (4-0) and Winslow (4-0) on the slate in January.

So Far So Good

Traditionally Western Maine Conference teams have struggled against Mountain Valley Conference foes but now that St. Dom’s is a bonafide MVC club, the Saints are fitting right in. St. Dom’s is currently 2-1 and ranked third in Western C.

“We’re real pleased where we are right now after the first three games,” said St. Dom’s coach Paul Rheaume.

The Saints opened the season with three-point wins over Hall-Dale and Livermore Falls. Both squads could be Western C tournament teams in February. After beating the Andies, the Saints were in a battle the next afternoon to Lisbon before losing 39-35. What the first week of the season has shown the Saints is that they can feel at home in the MVC and have the potential to do quite well in their new conference.

“We’ve told the kids all along that every game we have to come to play,” said Rheaume. “I think we can play with the best of them.”

The Saints have a challenge at Madison and host Winthrop this month. They’ll get the defending Class C state champs from Jay in early January.

Defensive Makeover

The Edward Little girls’ basketball team may have most of its top scorers back but that doesn’t mean the Red Eddies don’t have some holes to fill this season. EL has been a defensive stalwart in recent seasons and four seniors that graduated were a significant part of that. Losing Abby Downs, Alyssa Levesque, Katelyn St. Hilaire and Karen Leary put a significant dent in EL’s defense.

“When a team loses a bunch of 20-point scorers, everyone in the league says ‘Wow, they lost all those scorers.’,” said EL coach Craig Jipson. “We’ve been a defensive team and losing Downs, Levesque, St. Hilaire and Leary from our system, that’s like losing four 20-point scorers. We lost a lot, and it takes a lot to rebuild and find the kids. Luckily, we have some good athletes, and they’re getting it.”

Miranda Martin and Emily Grund have stepped into the starting lineup this season, even though Martin is currently out with a knee injury. There are seven total underclassmen that are helping fill roles. EL may not be able to press and be the shutdown defensive team it was, but the Red Eddies are making progress. The fact that the newcomers help bring more balance offensively helps also.

“There’s going to be nights where we’re going to outscore people,” said Jipson.


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