Southern Aroostook stuns Vinalhaven in Class D girls basketball state championship
AUGUSTA — When Southern Aroostook (20-2) and Vinalhaven (21-1) secured regional championship victories Saturday, Feb. 23, fans across the state knew the Class D girls basketball state championship would be a thriller.
And, indeed, it was a thrilling state championship contest.
The Vikings, the Class D South regional champion, entered the contest riding a 33-game winning streak that dated back to last season, a season that saw the Vikings secure a state championship.
Meanwhile, the Warriors entered the contest seeking its first state title since 1995.
After nearly two decades of waiting on another state championship, Southern Aroostook was successful in its quest thanks to a dominant fourth quarter in the 54-37 upset victory over the islanders.
In an interview ahead of the state title showdown, Warriors head coach Cliff Urquhart stated: “Vinalhaven is a great team. I think they play a very similar brand of basketball that we do. Not to indulge too deep into the game plan but I think [Gilleyanne] Davis-Oakes is a tremendous player. The other [four] around her are equally as tough and shoot the ball really well. They are a tough team to defend as proven by some of their scores during the regular season and the tournament.”
Members of the Vikings squad included Hope Cluff, Hannah Newton, Ashlyn Littefield, Paige Dennison, Amber Shane, Shyanne Warren, Corey Lazaro, Deja Doughty, Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes, Justice Grant and Cheyenne Bickford. The team’s head coach was Sandy Nelson, who was assisted by Sam Bickford.
Members of the Warriors squad included Victoria Belyea, Kylie Vining, Makaelyn Porter, Kacy Daggett, Paige Vose, Gracie Brewer, Hannah Landry, Sydney Brewer, Katelyn Slauenwhite, Emma Nadeau, Kassidy Mathers, Brianna Daggett, Emily Skinner, Madison Cummings and Selean Botting. The team’s head coach was Cliff Urquhart, who was assisted by Jessica Walker.
The opening quarter proved to be a thriller with the Warriors hold an 18-16 advantage after the first quarter.
The second quarter saw both teams exchange advantages, with the Warriors ultimately taking a 27-24 advantage into the halftime break.
In the first half, the Warriors posted a 32 percent field goal percentage compared to 37 percent for the Vikings.
Southern Aroostook was not able to connect on any of its five field goals, while Vinalhaven connected on all four in the first half.
The Warriors had four turnovers in the opening half compared to six for the Vikings.
The Warriors opened the second half by posting six points before a minute had been shaved off the clock and exited the third quarter with a 35-33 advantage.
Southern Aroostook became even more determined to upset the defending state champions in the fourth quarter, the quarter that proved to be most important for the Warriors.
The Warriors were relentless at the basket and chalked up 19 points in the final quarter, compared to Vinalhaven’s four.
Scoring for Vinalhaven were Grant (two), Shane (two), Bickford (two), Doughty (six), Littlefield (eight) and Davis-Oakes (17).
Scoring for Southern Aroostook were Porter (three), Gracie Brewer (two), Viney (10), Slauenwhite (six), Sydney Brewer (10), Kacy Daggett (12) and Kassidy Mathers (11).
Below is a look at how both Vinalhaven and Southern Aroostook performed this season.
Vinalhaven Vikings (21-1)
|Friday, Dec. 8||at Forest Hills||Won 77-24|
|Saturday, Dec. 9||at Forest Hills||Won 60-21|
|Friday, Dec. 15||vs. Valley||Won 57-19|
|Saturday, Dec. 16||at Valley||Won 69-29|
|Saturday, Dec. 30||at Temple Academy||Won 57-39|
|Friday, Jan. 5||vs. Rangeley Lakes||Won 53-39|
|Saturday, Jan. 6||vs. Rangeley Lakes||Won 51-32|
|Friday, Jan. 12||at Jonesport-Beals||Won 65-46|
|Saturday, Jan. 13||at Jonesport-Beals||Won 68-37|
|Monday, Jan. 15||vs. Temple Academy||Won 57-36|
|Friday, Jan. 19||at Highview Christian||Won 57-27|
|Saturday, Jan. 20||at Highview Christian||Won 54-27|
|Wednesday, Jan. 24||at Pine Tree Academy||Won 64-34|
|Thursday, Jan. 25||at Pine Tree Academy||Won 54-26|
|Friday, Jan. 26||at Buckfield||Won 72-30|
|Saturday, Jan. 27||at Buckfield||Won 52-18|
|Friday, Feb. 2||vs. Searsport||Won 55-37|
|Saturday, Feb. 3||vs. Searsport||Won 56-55|
|Tuesday, Feb. 20||vs. #8 Valley (Regional Quarterfinal)||Won 62-26|
|Thursday, Feb. 22||vs. #4 Greenville (Regional Semifinal)||Won 54-34|
|Saturday, Feb. 24||vs. #2 Rangeley Lakes (Regional Final)||Won 59-49|
|Saturday, March 3||vs. #1 Southern Aroostook (State Championship)||Lost 54-37|
Southern Aroostook Warriors (20-2)
|Friday, Dec. 8||vs. East Grand||Won 82-16|
|Friday, Dec. 15||vs. Shead||Won 60-18|
|Saturday, Dec. 16||vs. Central Aroostook||Won 69-51|
|Tuesday, Dec. 19||at Katahdin||Won 70-26|
|Friday, Dec. 22||at Houlton||Lost 51-37|
|Thursday, Dec. 28||vs. Wisdom||Won 69-14|
|Friday, Dec. 29||vs. Madawaska||Won 71-44|
|Friday, Jan. 5||at Shead||Won 61-26|
|Tuesday, Jan. 9||at Easton||Won 68-13|
|Thursday, Jan. 11||vs. Hodgdon||Won 61-27|
|Monday, Jan. 15||at Central Aroostook||Won 61-48|
|Thursday, Jan. 18||vs. Easton||Won 69-30|
|Monday, Jan. 22||vs. Houlton||Lost 50-45|
|Wednesday, Jan. 24||at Hodgdon||Won 60-32|
|Saturday, Jan. 27||at Madawaska||Won 56-45|
|Friday, Feb. 2||at Wisdom||Won 59-25|
|Tuesday, Feb. 6||at East Grand||Won 74-32|
|Thursday, Feb. 8||vs. Katahdin||Won 57-25|
|Monday, Feb. 19||vs. #9 Jonesport-Beals (Regional Quarterfinal)||Won 71-39|
|Wednesday, Feb. 22||vs. #5 Katahdin (Regional Semifinal)||Won 73-41|
|Saturday, Feb. 24||vs. #2 Woodland (Regional Final)||Won 55-41|
|Saturday, March 3||vs. #1 Vinalhaven (State Championship)||Won 54-37|
Reach George Harvey and the sports department at: email@example.com.