Laferriere, Foster lead sweep

Sport: Basketball (Girls)

Posted: March 17th, 0208 by Tom Nolette

Laferriere, Foster lead sweep
By Jessica Bloch
Monday, March 17, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

 Bangor's Amy Hackett, L, tries to get position on Marshwood's Sam Goda, right, in the first half of the girl's A/B All Star game at Husson on Saturday. (Bangor Daily News/Michael York) Buy this photo031708_AllStars3.JPG
 Lawrence's Alexa Bernatchez, left, tries to get a hand in front of South Portland's Jessica Aceto during the first half of their game at Husson in Bangor on Saturday.

BANGOR, Maine - Hillary Laferriere and Rachel Foster have more in common than might appear.

Although the two girls basketball all-stars attend high schools that are about 120 miles apart, they’re both senior post players. Laferriere is going to attend the University of New England in Biddeford next fall. That’s one of the options Foster is considering for her basketball future.

And both led their East teams to wins in the Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star basketball games Saturday morning.

The 6-foot-1 Foster had the only double-double of the two games with 24 points and 13 rebounds in a 70-62 East win over the West in the C-D game, while 5-11 Laferriere scored 18 points to go with eight rebounds as the East beat the West 62-53 in the A-B matchup.

Both East squads had to rally in the first half, but held on for wins.

In the A-B game, the East not only needed to rally in the first half, it also had to stop the West from coming back in the second half.

The key was getting to the free-throw line, especially in the first half. The East hit 12 of its 15 free-throw attempts in the first half and went 27-for-38 overall.

Laferriere was particularly critical late in the game as Lake Region of Naples’ Renee Nicholas made two free throws to cut the East’s lead to two points after taking as much as a 16-point advantage earlier in the second half.

"They were running against us and they had a fast team, but I thought we kept up with it pretty well," Laferriere said.

Nicholas scored 11 of her West-best 17 points after halftime and went 7-for-8 from the free-throw line, all in the second half. Two foul shots with 4:23 left made it 54-52.

Morse of Bath’s Jill Henrikson, a Miss Maine Basketball finalist, stretched things out a bit when she made two free throws. Laferriere, meanwhile, scored the final six points of the game. She went 5-for-9 from the field and 8-for-12 from the foul line.

The West had a 14-4 lead in the first half and later went up 18-10 when the East woke up. Lawrence of Fairfield’s Brogan Liberty drained two free throws and Cony of Augusta’s Rachael Mack, who was crowned Miss Basketball on Friday night, put back a rebound to spark a 12-0 run. The East outscored the West 10-3 in the final 3:34 of the half.

Laferriere may have been the standout Saturday, but she was eager to see players like Mack and Liberty in action.

"I’d always wanted to play with the girls from Lawrence and Cony," she said. "They’re Class A, and you always hear so much about them. I always wanted to have a chance to play with them, and I finally got one."

In the C-D game,Foster’s presence made it tough both offensively and defensively for the West.

Foster has seen plenty of double teams in her day, but the West generally stuck to straight man-to-man defense.

"That’s my strong point, when people play man against me," she said. "It’s fun to have just one person on me, because I can show people what I can do."

The West didn’t get much of a break when Foster was out — Central Aroostook of Mars Hill’s 6-foot Sarah Long played well, finishing with eight points and six rebounds.

"That was the mismatch inside," said Miss Maine Basketball finalist Aarika Ritchie of Lee. "It was a pretty big factor, I think."

Ritchie had a quiet statistical game with just five points, but both of her baskets were big. The West had a 27-23 lead with about 2:30 left in the first half when Ritchie sparked a 9-0 East run as she hit a driving shot. After a free throw by Piscataquis of Guilford’s Jillian Martell, Ritchie drained a 3-pointer off a Long steal to put the East up for good.

"I think we picked it up on defense, kind of forced some turnovers and got into the passing lanes," Ritchie said. "When we got running I think we tired them out at the end of the half."

Ritchie fed Long inside with 10 seconds left for a 32-27 East lead.

The West got 11 points from 5-11 Bailey Davis of Telstar in Bethel and 10 apiece from Madison’s 5-11 Margo Russell and 5-9 Hall-Dale of Farmingdale center Britta Olsen.

Davis and Russell each hit two 3-pointers as the West went 9-for-22 from behind the arc.

Marissa Albert of Fort Kent, who missed part of the regular season with a knee injury, finished with 10 points.

Martell added nine points and five rebounds. Ashland’s Whitney Flint scored all eight of her points in the second half.

"It was fun," Foster said. "It was good to play against the higher level of competition and I like playing the higher level of competition."