Leading up to Tuesday’s Western C quarterfinal, the St. Dom’s girls’ basketball team wasn’t sure whether it might have senior forward Allaina Murphy.

Murphy’s brother and cousin were involved in a serious snowmobile accident last week. Her cousin was killed and her brother was seriously injured. The 1,000-point scorer joined her teammates for practice Monday and arrived at the Augusta Civic Center Tuesday afternoon after spending time with her brother following surgery that morning.

Murphy, who led the MVC in scoring for the second straight year, led the Saints with 22 points and had 18 in the first half. She fouled out midway through the fourth quarter.

“Allaina kept them in it,” said Waynflete coach Brandon Salway. “She played her heart out today.”

 1-2-3 kick

Livermore Falls players and fans probably saw and considered only the end of a season Monday night when the Andies fell to top-seeded Dirigo in the Western Class C boys’ quarterfinals.

To be more precise, however, it was the end of an era.

Even if the school weren’t soon consolidating with Jay to form all-new RSU 73, that would be an accurate assessment. What is probably either Livermore Falls’ last or next-to-last team featured nine seniors who were part of three consecutive appearances at Augusta Civic Center.

“I know a little bit of Livermore Falls history, being in the MVC, being from Georges Valley and playing and watching my brother play,” Livermore Falls coach Travis Magnusson said. “This is a pretty damn good Livermore Falls team. We’ve had a hell of a run. I think you’d have to go back 15 years for a team that’s made it three times.”

Farther than that, actually.

In fact, Livermore Falls had never made it here three straight times. The Andies hadn’t made three straight tournament appearances, period, in Class C.

To unearth Livermore Falls’ last such period of prosperity, you have to scour the archives until you find a five-year run from 1974 to ’78. The Andies played in Class B then, and the Western Maine tournament was played in Auburn at Edward Little High School.

Livermore Falls won its only Western C title in 1989, losing to John Bapst in the state game.

Mike Armstrong, Mike Anctil, Mike Castonguay, Hunter Brett and Sam Chabot started Monday’s quarterfinal for the Andies. Most were stepping into an enhanced role this season after playing for a top-ranked team that reached last year’s regional final, also ultimately losing to Dirigo.

Bryan Maurais, Jake Keene, James Lee and Jimmy Seitz also appeared in their final game for Livermore Falls.

“They’ve got nothing to hang their head about. They were an honor to coach,” Magnusson said. “The way they work, the intensity they have, they’re going to be so successful in life. This is not the end for the them. I hope they enjoyed it, but they’re going to be such a success in the future.”

Reserve clause

Just about every team that qualifies for the basketball tournament has an established star or a one-two punch.

Your championship hopes, however, typically are as good as your sixth, seventh or even eighth players.

Foul trouble and defensive challenges forced Jay girls’ coach Chris Bessey to delve deeper into his bench Tuesday night than he might have under normal circumstances in a close quarterfinal game, The contributions of unsung juniors Kourtney Brennick and Kristy Macomber nearly saved Jay’s season.

Brennick helped neutralize Traip’s post players while Beth Moore and Alexi Deering battled foul trouble. Macomber, a 5-foot-7 guard, stepped into battle against Selena Lorrey, three inches taller and one of the top juniors in the state, and helped hold her to two second-half field goals after a scorching start.

Jay trailed by 14 in the first half before grabbing a 41-40 midway through the fourth quarter. Macomber and Brennick each scored two points in that late rally.

“To even be able to come back and take the lead is phenomenal. I can’t give Kristy Macomber enough credit,” Bessey said. “She’s usually a role player, and she came out and gave Lorrey fits and shut her down in the second half so we could some back and take the lead” Foul trouble and difficulty finding its outside shooting range ultimately doomed Jay in a 54-43 loss, its second straight quarterfinal defeat since winning the 2009 Class C championship.

Wardrobe malfunction

One of the first adjustments the Hebron Academy girls’ basketball team had to make Tuesday morning was about fashion.

Colin Griggs, the Lumberjacks coach, discovered that he had split the seam of his pants before his Hebron team was set to take the floor against top-ranked Richmond.

“I was standing up here waiting for the game to end,” said Griggs, who has been filling in this season for Heather Ferrenbach, who has been on maternity leave. “It happened right before the game started. I tried to tape it up.”

By halftime, he realized the tape job wasn’t working. While his team sat on the bench during halftime, Griggs went to the locker room for potential alterations. He returned to the court for the second half acknowledging there was little he could do that moment.

“I should have gone to the stapler,” he said.


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