AUGUSTA — Two minutes of jitters — then 30 of championship basketball only the finest can produce on the biggest stage.

Once the Lawrence girls basketball team got going in this championship showdown, it couldn’t be stopped. Now, the school will have to carve out space for another Gold Ball in its trophy case after this Bulldogs team matched the legendary squads of Lawrence’s past in a scintillating performance.

Lawrence defeated Brunswick 58-43 in Friday’s Class A state championship game at the Augusta Civic Center. The Bulldogs recovered from a sluggish start to the encounter to lead the rest of the way and claim the sixth state title in program history.

“This is crazy; it’s just a totally different level of happiness,” said Lawrence senior Elizabeth Crommett, visibly shaking with joy following the win. “We’ve experienced winning before, but this is so incredible. It’s a feeling you can’t even describe.”

Brunswick was the better team in the opening minutes, going on top 5-0 quickly on a Dakota Shipley 3-pointer and Maddy Werner layup. Yet second-ranked A North champion Lawrence (19-3) answered emphatically, scoring the next 12 points and using four 3-pointers in the opening quarter to take a 15-8 lead into the second.

“They’re a physical team, and we knew they were going to come out swinging, and they did that,” said Lawrence head coach Greg Chesley. “They hit those first two baskets, and it’s 5-0, and I’m thinking, ‘Uh oh, we’ve got to get a time out,’ but it stopped at five, and we were able to kind of bring it back from there.”


Lawrence would go cold from beyond the arc in the second quarter, presenting an opportunity for South No. 1 seed Brunswick (19-3) to get back in the game. The Dragons, though, continued to struggle from the field as the seven points from Maddie Provost powered the Bulldogs to a 29-16 lead at the break.

With Lawrence leading 35-22 midway through the third quarter, Brunswick fought back to get within two possessions as seven points in 39 seconds from Alexis Morin fueled a 9-0 run. With the Bulldogs leading 38-33 as the period’s final seconds ticked down, Crommett buried a 3-pointer that put her team up eight entering the final quarter.

“We’ve done that before; last game, Ali Higgins did it on a layup just before half, so for (Crommett) to do that right before half, it was incredible to build that momentum,” Chesley said. “It’s deep, and it’s funny because, in practice, we had been practicing those half-court shots and deeper shots. You never know what’s going to happen.”

Brunswick stayed in it early in the fourth quarter as Maddy Werner kept Lawrence from pulling away for much of the period. Yet the Bulldogs would do so down the stretch through Hope Bouchard, whose 10 points in the final period sealed Lawrence’s first Gold Ball in eight years.

Bouchard had 25 points and six rebounds to follow her 26-point effort in Lawrence’s 61-54 regional final win over Gardiner one week earlier. It was a remarkable final act for the senior, who had a state title and Miss Maine honor to her name in field hockey prior to basketball season and has now brought another piece of hardware back to Fairfield.

AUGUSTA, MAINE – MARCH 3, 2023 Lawrence High School celebrates their win over Brunswick High School in the Class A state championship game at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta on Friday, March 3, 2023.(Photo by Michael G. Seamans/Staff Photographer) Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“I think I just wanted to win so bad; I was going to take my shot if it was there, I was going to pass if it wasn’t there — I was going to do whatever it took,” Bouchard said. “It’s a dream come true, truly. We’ve been working for this for the whole entire time we’ve been playing, so it feels amazing.”


Provost added 16 points, seven rebounds and a game-high four assists for Lawrence in the victory. The Bulldogs also got seven points and four rebounds from Higgins, five points and a team-high 12 rebounds from Poulin and five points and five rebounds from Crommett.

Although championship stages can be daunting for freshmen, Provost, one of the state’s best, wasn’t the least bit fazed. She shined in the spotlight by hitting big shot after big shot, including a 3-pointer that put Lawrence back up seven after Brunswick had whittled the deficit down to four.

“Confidence is really key, especially here, where it just gets so crazy,” Provost said. “I think our whole team, not just me, we had a lot of confidence tonight. I’m so grateful for the opportunity I get to play with these teammates and my coaches, and I wanted to make the most of it.”

Werner had a team-high 16 points to lead Brunswick and added six rebounds. The Dragons also got 10 points from Morin and nine points and 13 rebounds from Shipley. Lawrence, though, dominated Brunswick on the boards as it brought down 38 rebounds to the Dragons’ 24.

Lawrence girls basketball players celebrate a 3-pointer against Brunswick in the Class A girls basketball state championship on Friday at the Augusta Civic Center. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

In regional tournament play, Brunswick had allowed just 27 points per game en route to three lopsided wins over Westbrook, Falmouth and Gray-New Gloucester. Yet Lawrence players had expressed confidence early in the week about their ability to dictate the game against the Dragons, something they certainly did.

“I thought they slowed us at times, but for the most part, we were able to get up and down,” said Chesley, whose team’s 58 points were 10 more than Brunswick had allowed in a game all season. “Our goal was 60, and we had 58, so we definitely did a good job of getting up and down and scoring.”

Lawrence had previously won four straight championships from 1991-94 as the immortal Cindy Blodgett dominated Maine high school basketball. The Bulldogs then waited two decades before adding a fifth Gold Ball in 2015 as Nia Irving, a legend in her own right, guided the team past Thornton Academy.

Lawrence’s 2022-23 group has now added its own ultimate prize to the school’s decorated trophy case. It’s an accomplishment, Provost said, that won’t be lost on the Bulldogs, even once the immediate high from a state championship win wears off — whenever and wherever that happens.

“It’s truly unbelievable,” Provost said. “To think that we brought a Gold Ball to our school and look up and see that did what Nia Irving did and Cindy Blodgett did, it’s the best feeling ever.”

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