Jessica Seeley saved the day Saturday, and, at the same time, she was also hoping to help save some lives.

The senior hit the game-winning free throw with 1.8 second remaining the the third overtime to give the Poland girls a 53-52 win over Lake Region.

She also made a key bucket and an important steal. And she assisted on Morgan Brousseau’s game-tying 3-pointer near the end of the first overtime.

During warmups, the Knights’ boys’ and girls teams were wearing pink T-shirts, as were several fans in the stands. That, too, was thanks to Seeley.

She organized a Coaches vs. Cancer benefit for her senior project.

“My mom had cancer — she’s in remission now — and this is what I wanted to do,” Seeley said. “I got the T-shirts, I have a bunch of donations.”

Seeley also had to roundup volunteers, because, of course, she would be playing. She ended up being a lot busier than she though, as she played all of the game’s 44 minutes.

“We just kept having to play, like, you knew you couldn’t take a sub,” Seeley said. “Forty-four minutes instead of 32, that’s what you need to train for, you need to keep your conditioning up.”

Seeley finished with 19 points, including nine in the overtime periods.

Young Raiders learning, growing

The Oak Hill girls had a nice week last week, losing to undefeated Madison 34-32 on a shot with three seconds left Wednesday, and then defeating one-loss Mountain Valley 39-27 on the road Friday.

Those games epitomize the Raiders so far this season. They stuck with the 8-0 Bulldogs. But then, they probably let the Falcons hang around too long, going the entire third quarter without a field goal, then letting a 12-point lead fall to six points late in the fourth before finally pulling away.

“The kids regained their composure, finished strong on a couple of times, and kind of just settled down a little bit,” Oak Hill coach Mike Labonte said. “It’s just, young team, growing pains, and that’s kind of what it is.”

Labonte, overall, is satisfied with how much the Raiders have progressed this season.

“I think it’s just part of the growing process, it really is,” he said. “We played Madison the other day, and undefeated team, and took them, they hit a shot with three seconds to go to win it, so we’re starting to figure it out, and hopefully we keep growing.

“It’s never fast enough for the coach. But it’s good, because the kids are great, the kids work hard and they’re coachable, and those are obviously real pluses.”

Depth by necessity

Edward Little will welcome back junior forward Wol Maiwen on Monday after he had to sit out the last two weeks due to disciplinary reasons involving an incident at the high school prior to the holiday break.

“He’s still a great kid,” EL coach Mike Adams said. “We’re going to rally around him and he’s going to be a better person because of it.”

The Red Eddies lost both games Maiwen missed — 61-56 to Scarborough and 78-70 to Portland — to drop to 4-3 on the season.

“We’re not making any excuses,” Adams said.

One silver lining to not having their top defensive player and inside threat is other players had to step up for the Red Eddies to help fill the void. Grant Hartley filled the vacancy in the starting lineup and played well, as did Xzabier Weaver, the Red Eddies’ first big man off the bench.

Adams went deeper into his bench than normal in last Friday’s loss to Portland, but it was not just a product of Wol’s absence. The philisophical influence of assistant coach Craig Jipson, who joined the staff after stepping down as EL’s girls’ varsity coach last year, is also playing a part.

“That’s a testament to coach Jipson being with us, getting us to be a little faster and play with more pressure, like he’s been known to do with the girls’ program, so we can get a little deeper into our bench,” Adams said.

“It’s one of my weaknesses. I’m the first to admit it. I don’t play a lot of guys,” he added. “The best players are still going to play, but we have some good players that don’t play an awful lot. We want to use those kids, and the more rest we can give some of the better players, the fresher they’ll be.”

Maiwen’s return precedes a week of big games for the Eddies as they hope to climb back up the Class AA North Heal point standings. They host former Oxford Hills star Matt Fleming and the Bangor Rams on Tuesday, travel to Bath to face Morse on Thursday, then host Thornton Academy on Saturday.

Poland’s Jessica Seeley, right, not only hit the game-winning free throw in Saturday’s triple-overtime win over Lake Region, but also helped organize a Coaches vs. Cancer benefit for the game.

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