TURNER — Jazmine and Jaydn Pingree’s twin telepathy on the court helped lead Spruce Mountain to a 61-35 girls basketball win over Leavitt Thursday evening. The duo combined to score 41 of the Phoenix’ points.

“Similar to this whole group, they’ve played together a long time,” Spruce Mountain coach Zach Keene said. “When they get in a rhythm together and the ball’s moving, and again, they’re making the right play, things go well. Tonight, just so happened to be a lot of good looks between give-and-go’s and things from them; they’re twin sisters.”

The Pingree twins have been playing basketball together since they were five years old, and the now seniors have dreams and plans to play at the collegiate level together. Jaydn said the two would like to stay in Maine, and are currently in the thick of the recruiting process.

Despite both teams getting off to a slow start, Jaydn Pingree led the scoring in the first quarter for Spruce Mountain (3-1) with seven points. With 3:17 left in the opening period, Jaydn tallied a steal off of Leavitt’s Kaitlyn Sirois, which Pingree was then able to dump off to sister Jazmine for a layup.

“It’s a matter of us coming together and making the right basketball play all the time,” Keene said about the team. “We have so many good players that if we can focus on making the right play all the time, we’re going to go on runs, we’re going to do the things we need to do.”

That same team chemistry alluded to by Keene was the secret to Thursday’s success, Jaydn Pingree said.


“We’ve been struggling the last week or so with our team communication and stuff like that, but I think we needed this game,” Pingree said. “We worked together as a team.”

The Hornets (3-3) responded with a steal of their own, thanks to Caitlyn McCoy’s breakaway grab with two minutes left in the first, racking up two points off a layup. McCoy was the leading scorer for the Hornets in the first half, with five points.

McCoy was a player on Spruce Mountain’s radar going into Thursday’s game, Keene said. He also said the team knew that Leavitt had strong shooters and would play aggressively until the final buzzer, so the Phoenix needed to bring that same energy.

The first quarter ended with the Hornets down by four, with a score of 13-9. Leading into the second quarter, things only got scrappier, with four separate on-the-ground dives for 50/50 balls, equally distributed on both sides.

“I thought we had spurts where we played with a lot of energy and a lot of effort,” Leavitt coach Kyle Rines said. “Then, it’s easy to get down and lose that. You have an experienced team (like Spruce Mountain) that makes easy baskets, they don’t turn the basketball over. Our body language wasn’t great, either.”

Maddie Grimaldi found the bottom of the net multiple times for the Phoenix throughout the second quarter, chipping in eight points in one period alone. Grimaldi’s two 2-pointers, one free throw and two 3s earned her a shoutout after the game from Rines.


With Grimaldi’s standout performance, Spruce Mountain was able to tally another 15 points in the second quarter, while Leavitt only added eight. Going into the half, the Hornets were down double digits at 28-17.

The gap only seemed to widen for the Phoenix, with Jaydn Pingree coming out strong in the third quarter. The senior lit up the crowd, contributing 12 points — including a pair of 3-pointers.

“Coach said in the locker room that we needed to pick it up aggressive-wise, and I wanted to be the person to do that,” Jaydn Pingree said.

Leavitt’s usual top-scoring suspects, according to Rines, are Jordyn Boulay (held scoreless) and McCoy (five points).

“Jordan Boulay is averaging over three 3-pointers a game,” Rines said about Spruce Mountain’s defensive shutdown. “Tonight, she may have shot three, but she didn’t make any. Caitlyn McCoy, Spruce did a great job on her. She’s averaging 15 points a game, and I think tonight she had five.”

“It was like a boxing match,” Rines said. “We hung with them through rounds one and two, and then they threw some big punches that we couldn’t recover from. That’s basketball. When you get yourself in a hole like that, it’s tough to climb out of it.”


Grimaldi also chipped in two 3-pointers back-to-back in the third quarter, within the last five minutes of the frame. With the number of points the Phoenix locked in over the third quarter alone, the scoring gap widened to 19, sitting at 41-22 with Spruce Mountain still in the lead.

The fourth quarter brought back the season of steals, with Spruce Mountain’s Aubrey Kachnovich getting in on the action. Kachnovich was able to get a pass off to Jaydn Pingree, who finished the job with another two points.

Both Leavitt and Spruce Mountain had their most points in the last quarter, with the Hornets adding 13 and the Phoenix chipping in 20. Despite the Hornets’ momentum, there was not enough time to make up for the third-quarter performance by Spruce Mountain.

The top scorer for Leavitt, Gabby Smith, finished with 10 points. Rines said that while Smith is “very young,” she is putting the pieces together and performing for the Hornets.

“She’s learning that she has great size and strength. When she attacks the paint, she’s very tough for us to stop,” Rines said. “I thought tonight she played a lot of heart, I just think it’s difficult to do that when you’re down by 20.”

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