FREEPORT — Western Maine Conference opponents know to have success against Freeport, they must contain Falcons forward Nina Davenport.

The first time around, the Poland High School girls’ basketball team did a good job of that in a season-opening victory in early December.

In Tuesday’s rematch, the Knights had no answer for the Freeport leader, as Davenport scored 40 points in the Falcons’ 70-54 victory.

The win gives Freeport a second straight win and a 3-5 record, while Poland fell to 4-4.

“My teammates got me open and I was feeling it tonight,” said Davenport after following up her 30-point performance in Freeport’s 71-43 win over Kennebunk on Friday with a 40-point, 10 rebound, three assist and three steal masterpiece against Poland. “A ton of players stepped up tonight. Lauren Cormier and Ashley Richardson made some big shots. We have struggled at times this year, and this game will boost our confidence.”

Poland coach Darren Littlefield’s injury-depleted squad was missing leading scorer Michaella Arsenault and forward Taylor Summers.

“We have a couple kids that are injured, which hurts us, and we wanted to come into their gym and hold Nina under 20 points, keeping the point totals down for both teams,” said Littlefield, whose Knights return to action on Thursday at home against Old Orchard Beach. “We are not looking for a 70-50 score. We need to keep the game low-scoring to have success, and that didn’t happen tonight.”

The early going was a shootout between Davenport and Poland’s Emily Bolduc. Both players scored seven first-quarter points as Freeport claimed a 15-10 lead.

Davenport took over in the second. Her three-point play gave the Falcons a 24-14 advantage, and her third hoop-and-harm of the first half was followed by back-to-back daggers from 3-point range, giving the Falcons a 40-26 halftime lead.

Bolduc had 15 first-half points to keep Poland in it, but Freeport shot 51 percent (16 of 31) from the floor.

“She was on, that’s for sure, and she even missed some bunnies early on or she might have had 50,” said Freeport coach Jim Seavey of Davenport, who will lead her Falcons against Lake Region on Thursday. “When Nina is on, she is tough to defend, and hitting five 3s really says something about her range.”

Davenport added another 12 points to her total in the third quarter, including two more treys, the last giving her team their largest lead, 56-40.

Bolduc stepped back and drained a 3-pointer to end the third frame, getting her team to 56-43. The shot seemed to fire up the Knights, who opened the final eight minutes by scoring seven straight points to close to 56-50.

“Caroline (Littlefield) did a good job on Nina in the early part of the fourth quarter,” said the Poland coach. “We had six out of eight trips that we allowed just one shot where everyone was boxing out.”

Seavey called two timeouts to calm his charges after Freeport mis-fired on six straight shots and committed four turnovers during Poland’s 10-0 run.

Coming out of the second timeout, Richardson scored her first points on a reverse lay-up for a 58-50 lead. Sarah Bolduc answered for Poland, but Davenport converted Richardson’s ninth assist for a big trey and a 61-52 Falcons edge. Richardson scored four more points as Freeport ended the game on a 14-4 run.

“When they got it within six, Ashley hit those big jumpers and she is also getting into a comfort-zone,” Seavey said. “It is vital for us to get support from everyone to be successful because teams will find ways to double and triple Nina. She is not going to score 40 points every night. We talk about getting better every night, and now the kids are getting comfortable.

“This was a big win. We needed a split. We treated this like a tournament game, knowing they will be worth some Heal Points. When they get Arsenault back, they will get some wins.”

Emily Bolduc led Poland with 29 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists. Sarah Walton pulled down five boards, and the Knights were 18 of 51 (35 percent) from the floor and 14 of 22 at the free-throw line.

The Falcons were 26 of 59 (44 percent) from the field and 13 of 23 from the charity stripe. Kayla Belanger chipped in 10 points, while Cormier, Richardson and Vanessa Lee had six points apiece. Lee also pulled down eight rebounds as Freeport finished with a 31-18 edge on the glass.


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