BANGOR — When Coach Shawn Graham pulled his freshman talent Kolleen Bouchard off the court with foul trouble Saturday night, he knew he was taking some chances.

Bouchard is a top-scoring guard and catalyst for his Houlton girls’ basketball team, but the Shiretowners were going to have to execute without her.

“I think some teams key a little too hard on Kolleen Bouchard,” Graham said. “I think it’s key when we’re able to sit her for a good portion of that third quarter. I was really rolling the dice a little bit but as long as we maintained the lead, I was going to go with it.”

Houlton not only maintained the lead but added to it. The Shiretowners then got Bouchard back in the fourth and finished off the game for a 59-51 win over Maranacook in the Class C state championship game.

“This is just an amazing feeling,” said Bouchard, whose brother already has a title with the boys’ team. “I’m so excited. We’ve always worked together great, ever since we were little. We’ve been talking about this forever. It finally came true. It’s amazing. I can’t even explain it.”

Bouchard finished with 18 for Houlton (20-2) while the Shires got double digits from Natalie Hill, Rylee Warman and Katie Condon, with 10 points each. Aspen Flewelling added nine, including two 3’s and eight points total in the third.


“Aspen’s a freshman, but she’s got nerves of steel, Graham said. “Even though she’s a post player, she’s actually our best 3-point shooter.”

Maranacook was led by Christine Miller’s 31 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. Catherine Sanborn added 10 for the Black Bears (18-4).

“This is a great group of kids,” Maranacook coach Jeannine Paradis said. “It’s a group that I’ll remember forever.”

With the game tied 30-30 in the third quarter, Houlton, which has no seniors, opened the lead with a 7-0 run. With Bouchard on the bench the Shires got points from three other players. Then five different players scored in the fourth to preserve the lead.

“We had a great freshman, Aspen, who came in and hit a couple of big 3’s Bouchard said. “They did a great job when I was out. They kept the lead. They did a great job.”

After a drive by Hill, Flewelling hit a 3 and then followed that with a drive to make it 37-30. Miller answered with a 3. A free throw by Sarah Clough and a fast break hoop by Elizabeth D’Angelo cut it to 39-36. Houlton ended the third with a leaner by Condon for a 41-36 lead. Miller picked up her fourth foul on the play.


“We’ve typically been a third quarter team all year,” Graham said. “So at halftime, we thought we were okay. We didn’t have to panic. In the second half, we just wanted to get out and run. Maranacook is an up-tempo team as well, but I think their foul trouble really hurt them.”

Both Miller and Clough were in foul trouble and eventually fouled out in the fourth.

Houlton opened up the lead with back-to-back baskets by Warman early in the fourth. The Black Bears got within three on a Miller free throw and a Lauren Clough 3 with 5:03 left, but Maranacook could never got over the final hump. The Black Bears would get within three or four only to watch Houlton pad the lead again. Bouchard had eight points in the fourth while Warman had five and Condon added four.

“Our intensity came up,” Bouchard said. “We were patting each other on the back and getting each other pumped up. When you do that, you don’t’ feel tired. You feel the energy coming through.”

A basket by Bouchard made it 52-46 late in the fourth but Miller drilled a 3 that cut it to 52-49 with 1:14 left. Houlton got free throws from Bouchard, Condon, Flewelling and Hill to close it out. Houlton ended the game with a 9-5 surge, including seven straight points.

“I thought we had a few mishaps with a couple of mismatches – trying to step up defensively and we missed some rotations,” Paradis said. “We also tried to get back in the game by shooting outside shots and having them beat us to the ball. When it comes down to it, the kids played their hearts out and that’s all I can ask for.”


Though Miller had 10 points for the Blacks Bears in the fourth, Maranacook only had 15 overall. Only two other players scored down the stretch.

“In big games, she’s going to come up big for us,” Paradis said. “Sarah was in foul trouble. Shots just weren’t falling for a lot of other kids. I wanted us to penetrate to the basket a little bit more. We did and then we didn’t. It was a matter of trying to find that balance.”

Maranacook started strong and opened a 15-11 lead after one. The game went back and forth in the second quarter and was tied three different times. Houlton took the lead with a Bouchard drive but Miller hit a free throw to get within 25-24.

“I felt we got them a little winded and a little frazzled,” Paradis said. “Offensively, we had a number of turnovers but I think that had a little more to do with nerves and being here in the state game. Once we got the offense going we had the lead for a little bit, but then sometimes things don’t go your way.”

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