FREEPORT — A broken-down bus and a late start didn’t keep Rangeley from getting off to a hot start Thursday. 

The Lakers jumped out to 13-0 lead and never looked back in a 69-30 Class D South girls basketball victory at Pine Tree Academy. 

Rangeley’s Lauren Eastlack (11) goes in for a layup as Pine Tree Academy’s Rachel Cleminson (10) defends during the first quarter of Thursday’s Class D girls basketball game in Freeport. Eric Maxim/The Times Record Buy this Photo

“I mean, they decided that they were just going to come play basketball,” Lakers coach Brittany DiPompo said. “They didn’t care that we didn’t get here and our normal pregame warm-up. We just got ready, we came to play basketball, and this gym provided a good playoff atmosphere.” 

The Rangeley (10-0) bus broke down about a half-hour into the two-plus-hour commute. The girls finished the trip riding in a cavalry of cars, and they arrived in Freeport at the time the game was supposed to start. The Lakers then quickly got into game mode. 

That meant playing a suffocating press defense, which forced the Breakers (1-8) into a multitude of turnovers. 

“A lot of our offense is created from our defense, and that’s what the Lady Laker program has always been about, is our defense,” DiPompo said. 

The lead was 20-4 by the end of the first quarter. The Breakers then “probably played at least the best singular quarter we have against them in years,” according to coach Josh Dayen. 

Rangeley’s Emily Eastlack (14) stops Pine Tree Academy’s Emily Rojas (14) at midcourt during the first half of Thursday’s Class D girls basketball game in Freeport. Eric Maxim/The Times Record Buy this Photo

The Lakers still outscored Pine Tree 19-10 in the second period, but the Breakers’ shots started to fall. Paige Tyson and Regence Sandy each made baskets on their way to a team-leading eight points apiece. 

“If I can take a piece out of it, if that second quarter is the piece they take out of it … it shows them that they can play with anyone, or as they grow that they can match that,” Dayen said. 

Emily Eastlack scored 11 of her game-high 19 points in the first half for Rangeley. 

Lauren Eastlack had 17 points and 10 steals, Olivia Pye 15 and seven, and Winnie LaRochelle scored 14. 

Pine Tree senior point guard Emily Rojas made a pair of baskets in the fourth to finish with seven points. 

“They didn’t give up,” Dayen said. “Just a lot of mental focus to be able to play four quarters, and we were down 20, and then 30, and then 40, and then still be hustling for loose balls and getting on the ground.” 

DiPompo appreciated Pine Tree’s game-long effort. 

“They played 32 minutes straight, and that’s exactly what we want out of every game, is for our girls to be playing that as well because it’s really important to keep the intensity up,” she said. 


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