Victoria Harris of Lewiston High School and Abby Houghton of Bangor High School compete for a loose ball during the first half in Lewiston on Friday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

LEWISTON — Senior captain Victoria Harris solidified herself Friday night as a force to be taken seriously in Class AA girls basketball this season. Her 20 points led the Blue Devils to a 44-32 victory over Bangor.

“I think she just put the team on her back and that’s the kind of kid she is,” Lewiston coach Lynn Girouard said. “I told her at halftime, ‘Keep them talking on defense and keep the motivated,’ and she did that. That’s what you want out of a senior captain and she has, even in our preseason games, put her team on her back.”

Harris started to heat up in the second quarter, with the Blue Devils trailing. Harris took the ball on the left block and her back to the basket. A strong step towards the hoop opened up a lane for a layup, a scene that repeated itself many times Friday. On the next possession, Harris hit a floater from eight feet out on the right side, leading the Blue Devils back into the contest.

While Harris had a strong second for Lewiston, Bangor freshman Libby Fleming also had a strong second, scoring eight in the quarter. Whether it was a layup or jumper, Fleming found ways to score throughout the period.

At halftime, Girouard and the Blue Devils were in a 24-17 hole.

That’s when she told her captain to take control.

“I think during halftime we kind of realized that if we were going to win, then we were going to want it more than they wanted and that’s what we did,” Harris said.

Harris carried her hot shooting through the half and a minute in finished off an old-fashioned three-point play. Two minutes later, freshman guard Myah Nicolas drained a three from the top of the key to tie the game at 27. Nicolas finished with seven points.

Girouard was pleased with how her freshmen and guards played.

“I think we got a lot of pressure with our guards in the front and made it a little harder to get the ball into the post,” Girouard said. “…We have a lot of freshmen and it’s a big jump going from eighth grade to varsity basketball. They adjusted in the second half and I just want them to have composure and grow as the season grows.”

On the next possession, Harris received a pass on the block and score on a layup. As Bangor inbounded, Harris stole the ball after a dribble and drove and drew the foul.

Lewiston got help from all over in the second half, with senior forward Gabrielle Wilson adding multiple rebounds and seven points. Wilson was also an instrumental part of the Blue Devil’s second half defense that allowed just eight points.

“Eight points in the second half, we haven’t done that in a long time,” Girouard said. “To step up defensively and make stops like that was great to see.”

Lewiston will now travel across the bridge on Tuesday to face Edward Little in their first rivalry game of the season.

“That’ll be a big challenge but I think we’re ready,” Girouard said. “The next couple practices we will talk heavily about them and hopefully we have a better start, because when you get down to Edward Little, it’s a little harder to come back.”

Cece Racine of Lewiston High School steals the ball with the score tied at 27 during the third period against Bangor High School in Lewiston on Friday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Myah Nicolas of Lewiston High School drives to the basket against Madi Drake of Bangor High School during the first period in Lewiston on Friday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Gabrielle Wilson of Lewiston High School drives to the basket against Maggie Cowperthwaite of Bangor High School during the first period in Lewiston on Friday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

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