BUCKFIELD — Rangeley held Buckfield to five first-half points, but didn’t exactly cruise to its 57-23 girls’ basketball win Friday.

The Bucks struggled to score, but they made the Lakers work hard for every point they put up on the scoreboard.

“I take my hat off to Buckfield,” Rangeley coach Heidi Deery said. “They’re physical, and they bring it.”

The Lakers didn’t score much, either, in the first quarter. The score was 6-2 until the final minute of the quarter when Sydney Royce scored an and-one and Natasha Haley added a bucket.

“I thought we came out a little flat,” Deery said, “and I thought we missed some shots that typically we would hit. And I think we kind of started scrambling and not playing with a purpose.”

Hannah Shields scored Buckfield’s only bucket of the first quarter. She also had its only points of the second quarter with a 3-pointer midway through. In between those two scores, the Lakers put up only 13 points, but they finished the half on a 10-0 run to make it 25-5 at halftime.


Still, the Bucks kept playing physical and kept crashing the boards, despite a significant height disadvantage.

“It was a lot better than when we were up there before Christmas time,” Buckfield coach Ryan Wilkins said, referring to the Bucks’ 55-15 loss Dec. 22. “We didn’t play very well up there, with exception to the first 90 seconds and the last 90 seconds.

“The kids played a lot harder tonight, which is kind of what we’re trying to get them to do on a regular basis, because that hard work does kind of make up for what we do lack in skill. I thought the girls played hard from start to finish.”

Haley led all scorers with 18. Deery liked how Haley was able to adapt to Buckfield’s physical play and find ways to score, particularly in the fourth quarter when she scored eight of her points.

Royce was consistent throughout the game, including the slow first quarter when she scored five points, and finished with 17 points.

“She got us going,” Deery said. “She really is working on the mental part of her game, and I think it is really starting to show for her.”

The Bucks (2-8) were much better offensively in the second half, putting up 10 points in the third quarter and eight in the fourth. Shields led Buckfield with 11 points. Kali Litchfield and Katy Henderson each added four points.

“I saw a lot of things tonight that were positive that we can take out of this game, even though it was a lopsided game,” Wilkins said. “We did a lot of things that made me proud of how they played.”

The Bucks next host Hebron (3-3) on Tuesday. Rangeley (8-2) plays at Seacoast Christian (1-6) that same day.

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