Lady Falcons battle hard in playoff loss
PORTLAND -- The efforts were certainly prevalent, however, the Mountain Valley girls' basketball team couldn’t get over the hump in a Western Maine Class B quarterfinal game played on Feb. 22.
The Lady Falcons had pulled to within one point following two baskets by McKenzie Paterson, but No. 4 Greely held on in the final minute for a 42-39 win at the Exposition Building. It was the fifth straight year that Mountain Valley had lost a playoff game to the Rangers, including last year 46-21 in quarterfinal and in the 2009 semifinals by 49-27.
This time it became clear early on that No. 5 Mountain Valley had its competitive fires ignited against the taller Rangers. The largest deficit the Falcons faced was five points and a well-timed adjustment produced a 31-30 lead after three quarters on the 94-foot parquet floor.
“We definitely had our opportunities,” said coach Rich Allen. “The kids really stepped up and played well but once again we came up a little short.”
Greely scored six of the first eight points in the fourth quarter to lead 38-33. A Breana Roberts basket helped MV, but the Rangers' Sara Warmock (seven of 12 points in fourth quarter) made two free throws. Paterson then came alive and paced the Falcons by making two steals, two free throws and grabbed an offensive rebound and scoring.
“McKenzie has been a hard-nosed player,” said Allen of Paterson who scored six of her seven points in the fourth quarter. “In a two-minute stretch, she put the team on her back and played like a senior who did not want to lose.”
Greely stalled for 45 seconds until MV fouled, and made two free throws with 15.5 seconds left. The Falcons called timeout and a shot by Roberts rimmed out and another turnover set up a play, but the shot went wide.
MV had scored 16 points in the first half on four three pointers and four free throws. Ayla Allen scored 11 of her 14 points, despite battling the flu and throwing up during intermission. She buried four treys and had 12 rebounds.
MV had several good looks at the basket and extended the Ranger defense. This led to a productive third quarter which saw five lead changes. MV baskets were by Lindsay Gallant and Makayla White (six points) and treys by Chrissy Briggs (six points) and Allen. A free throw by Kaitlin Armstrong gave the Falcons their final lead at 31-30.