Monmouth Academy’s Abby Ferland (21) heads to the basket as Spruce Mountain’s Julianne Doiron looks on during an MVC basketball game in Monmouth on Tuesday night. (Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi)

MONMOUTH — The Spruce Mountain girls’ basketball team passed the point of no return late in the third quarter against an opponent who refused to get rattled Tuesday night.

Monmouth Academy (1-1) kept its composure and put together a convincing 59-37 victory over the Phoenix (1-1) in Mountain Valley Conference  action.

Despite several opportunities to sneak up on the Mustangs, Spruce sputtered against the swift-moving Mustangs, who showed no signs of coming undone even during brief dry spells.

“There was a lot of energy,” Monmouth coach Rick Larrabee said. “The girls were confident, and that is something we talked about in practice last night.

“We weren’t happy with our first-game performance. So we knew we had to step it up tonight and not be afraid to shoot, not be afraid to take advantage of situations, and the girls did that tonight.

“(Spruce) is scrappy. They are going to win a lot of games, and once they put their defense together, they are going to be hard pressure to break because they are fast.”

The Mustangs made their move the second quarter and eventually built a 33-18 halftime lead.

“We just weren’t ready and this is on everybody — myself and the players,” Spruce Mountain coach Zachary Keene said. “But we didn’t come ready to play.

“Onto the next one. I have to prepare them better than they were prepared. It is easy to do things right when things are going your way (like against Mt. Abram on Saturday). They didn’t tonight, so we move on to Dirigo on Thursday.”

Senior guard Julia Johnson certainly helped Monmouth get there, scoring the team-high 16 points with some impressive antics inside the paint and by getting the ball into her teammates.

Monmouth senior forward Kaeti Butterfield threw in a pair of 3-pointers and eventually turned in 11 points for the night.

“Kaeti Butterfield came in off the bench because she was sick yesterday,” Larrabee said. “She is probably one of our best 3-point shooters.”

The Mustangs stayed right on top of guard Haley Turcotte and wouldn’t give her the perimeter, but she still scored a team-high 16 points. Teammate Calley Baker scored five.

“My other big player, (5-foot-7 junior forward) Libby Clement, we put her on their best player, Haley Turcotte,” Larrabee said. “I knew with Clement’s lank and Turcotte likes to shoot the 3s, we just face-guarded her all game and didn’t worry about her outside and the other girls packed it in.

“Turcotte didn’t have anything … and we just stayed with Turcotte. She had a couple of drives and we were willing to give that up once we got the lead.”

Spruce Mountain’s Summer Chretien goes up for a shot as Abby Flanagan (1) and Kayla Brooks defend in Monmouth on Tuesday Night (Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi)


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