LEWISTON — The Lewiston-Auburn Maples, the Twin Cities’ semiprofessional women’s basketball team, faced competition for the first time Sunday afternoon.

The newly founded Maples lost 70-57 to the Mount Vernon Shamrocks at the Lewiston Armory.

“This is the first time we’ve played a game together,” Maples coach Jim Seavey said. “The first time we were able to go five-on-five in practice was yesterday.” 

Most of the team’s players work full-time jobs, so getting together for practice during the week has been difficult, putting the Maples at a disadvantage against a team like the Shamrocks, a New York-based team that has been playing together for a while. 

Coach Jim Seavey speaks Sunday afternoon to the Lewiston-Auburn Maples during the team’s first preseason game against the Mount Vernon Shamrocks, at the Lewiston Armory. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Despite the lack of practice time, the Maples jumped out to an 11-0 lead. Kayla Vangelist and Kaitlyn Maithieu, the two starting forwards for Lewiston-Auburn, were able to use their size to finish inside early on. Allie Goodman and Grace Fontaine, the starting backcourt, were able to use their speed and passing vision to set up their teammates for easy layups.  

The Shamrocks responded with a big run, tying the game at 15 by the end of the first quarter. After that, Mount Vernon never looked back.  


Allie Goodman of the Lewiston-Auburn Maples drives Sunday afternoon against the Mount Vernon Shamrocks during the Maples’ first preseason game, at the Lewiston Armory. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

The Maples struggled with turnovers, a consequence of not having played together.

“We’re a new team, so it’s going to take some time for us to adjust and adapt to each other’s playing styles,” said Maithieu, who played professionally in Macedonia this past season. “We had some turnovers, and something we have to improve on is getting the ball up the court and looking ahead.” 

The Maples players said they plan to use Sunday’s game to determine where they need improve before the regular season opener July 10 against the Northeast Trailblazers.

“Now, we can go back from today and build off it,” Seavey said, “and understand what we need to work on to get better.”

Seavey, who stressed the need to take care of the ball, said he is recruiting other college players from the area to practice with the Maples, which will allow the team to simulate game situations when practicing.

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