Lady Falcons seeking playoff redemption
RUMFORD -- The knowledge of being able to realize when to adjust has helped the Mountain Valley girls' basketball team return to the Portland Expo and an opportunity to redeem themselves in the Class B playoffs.
The second season has not been kind to the Lady Falcons in recent years. Regardless of the rankings, MV is always poised to face a Western Maine Conference team in the quarterfinals. Early on, the team wasn’t clicking and lost two of its first three games.
“We have started out slow every year,” said coach Rich Allen. “We were making way too many mistakes and not playing very good defense. We started winning when we stopped over extending in passing lanes and keeping people in front of us.”
MV was scoring enough points, but their trademark stout defense just wasn’t stopping anyone and fouling all the time. Still, things worked well until the Dirigo loss 39-38 last month. The team came out flat in the second half and Dirigo made a run, while the Falcons were unable to respond and it proved costly.
At Jay, the games were in the Falcons' grasp, however, they committed too many fouls and lost.
"They outscored us from the foul line 19-2 in first game, lost by seven, outscored from foul line 24-7 in the second game, lost by two in overtime. I guess we didn't learn much from the first game," said Allen.
MV recorded two big wins against Livermore Falls and avenged Dirigo with a 50-31 win. Teams have tried various defenses, a diamond and one and doubling Ayla Allen, plus zones.
“We have handled zones pretty well,” said coach Allen. “First one we saw was Jay and we still scored 42 points with Chrissy (Briggs) hitting five three pointers. They initially slowed down Ayla but she has adjusted and zones don't scare us anymore.”
Allen, a junior, has averaged 18-plus points in the last seven games and nearly double digits in rebounding. All the guards -- Lindsay Gallant, McKenzie Paterson, Briggs and Makayla White -- can all hit outside shots and Ayla's range has improved a lot; four treys against LF. “We go eight deep with Brooke (Dolloff), Chrissy, and Kaitlyn (Armstrong) coming off the bench. All of our offenses provide for plenty of outside looks,” said coach Allen.