Lady Blue Devils Win Eastern Maine Title

By John Rogers

Saturday evening the Calais Lady Blue Devils became the first Class C girls’ team to win an Eastern Maine Championship in the new Cross Center at Bangor. Pictured in the front row are seniors Malorie Black, Jasmine Ross, Paige Gillespie, Taylorae Carter, Kate Cundiff, and Jordan Hatch. Back l-r has: Assistant Coach Darcey Gillespie, Manager Brooke Smith, Assistant Coach Laverne Redding, Felicia Moholland, Carson Hold, Kaylee Johnson, Katie Cavanaugh, Madison McVicar, Olivia Smith, Assistant Coach Bill McVicar, and Head Coach Dana Redding. (Photo by John Rogers).

After being State runners-up this past season the Calais Lady Blue Devils have earned the #1 seed in the East with a 16-2 mark, and then swept the East taking solid wins over WA, Houlton, and Orono High Schools capturing the team’s twelfth Eastern Maine Championship. Now Calais (19-2) is focused on this coming Saturday when they will travel to the Augusta Civic Center for a 7:00PM contest against #3 the Carrabec Cobras (17-4) from North Anson (just North of Madison), as they are determined to overcome last season’s loss, and to win a seventh Gold Ball. The third ranked Cobras earned a spot in the State Final with Western Maine victories over Waynflete (6), Maranacook (2), and Madison (5). Their 4-regular-season loses came at the hands of Madison, St. Dom’s, and 2 by Class B and #2 ranked Spruce Mountain High School.

The Lady Blue Devils, with only 2-loses on the season to Class B Ellsworth, opened Tuesday evening in the quarter-final round against the 9TH ranked 7-11 Lady Raiders from Washington Academy. Calais jumped into a commanding 17-6 lead after the opening eight, and played tough to a midway advantage of 24-12. The lead grew to 19-points after 24-minutes, as WA was held scoreless until 4:09 of the third, and then the Calais girls continued the pressure and won their opener by 19, 49-30. In the decision they led their guests in all categories: 40% to 30% from the floor, 50% to 33% on 3-pointers, 59% to 58% on free throws, 37 rebounds to 19, and WA had 16 turnovers, while the Lady Blue Devils had 13. Maddy McVicar continued to pace the team scoring 18-points with 4-rebounds, Paige Gillespie pulled down a big 15-boards and added 5-points; Olivia Smith had 2-rebounds, Kaylee Johnson had 10-points and 2-boards, Mallory Black 10-points and 2-boards, Kate Cundiff 7-points and 6-rebounds, and Taylorae Carter 2-points and 2-boards.

Friday night in the semi-final contest against Houlton the Shiretowners stayed close in the first stanza trailing by just 3, 15-12, but the second 8-minutes saw the scrappy Lady Blue Devils power to a 9-point advantage, 29-20. The Blue Devils were not to be denied a spot in the Eastern Maine final as they out distanced their guests in every category, shooting 2-pointers at 42% while their counterparts managed only 28%, earning 8 free throws to 2, and taking 34-rebounds over just 21. The spread continued in the third to a 43-28 lead, and finally the Lady Blue Devils played to a 53-29 win. Paige Gillespie had a sterling double-double game ripping down 12-rebounds and scoring 11-points. Maddy McVicar earned 13-points with 7-rebounds and 3-steals; Taylorae Carter hit 7-points and added 8-rebounds, Olivia Smith scored 3-points with 2-boards, Kate Cundiff had 4-points and a board; and Kaylee Johnson scored 10-points and pulled in 3-boards.

Concluding a fantastic Eastern Maine Tournament Saturday night, the Calais Lady Blue Devils hosted Orono and simply marched to a 19-point win and their goal, another shot at the Gold in Augusta on Saturday! There was no point in this game that Calais didn’t control the action as they pounded to a 17-6 first period lead and then a 24-12 advantage after 16-minutes. In the third the dominance continued as Kate Cundiff hit 2 in a row and the tough Calais man-to-man held the Red Riots scoreless until the 4:09 mark. Meanwhile Paige hit 2-baskets, Olivia added one, Taylorae added one and Kaylee Johnson scored putting the Lady Devils way ahead 39-20. Maddy started off the final period for Calais with a 3-pointer and the Lady Blue Devils kept the pressure on Orono, and took the air out of the ball, playing to a 49-30 championship victory – their 12TH Eastern Maine Championship!

The team dominated Orono from the floor shooting at 46% to 22%, the offensive difference in the game. Leading the win Maddy McVicar hit 15-points with a steal and 2-boards, Paige Gillespie gathered 12-boards and hit 3-points; Olivia Smith netted 7-points with 2-steals and 2-boards; Kaylee Johnson had a steal, a board, and 7-points, Kate Cundiff hit 9-points with 7-boards, and 2-steals; and Taylorae Carter scored 7-points with 4-rebounds.