BANGOR – Meaghan Young’s teammates on the John Bapst girls basketball team have a nickname for her that fits especially well: Rocky.
The nickname has a double meaning. First, Young is a tough defender and isn’t afraid to use her body in the paint. Second, she tends to launch a lot of long shots, like a rocket.
Young did both in the Crusaders’ hard-fought 51-38 victory over Stearns of Millinocket at the Bangor Auditorium Thursday evening.
The junior guard, who is the first player off the bench, scored 11 points for Bapst on 5-for-6 shooting from the foul line and three field goals. Rocky lived up to her nickname by firing up five 3-pointers, but couldn’t convert.
Her nickname was a fit on defense, too, Crusaders coach Len Miragliuolo said.
“She’s a real hustler,” he said. “That’s what our kids do well. But she’s a good shooter, too. She’s just in a little of a slump.”
In the first quarter, it was the Stearns girls who were slumping. The Minutemen scored just one field goal in the period, a layup by Shannon Boynton. She also hit two free throws, but that was all the offense Stearns could muster and John Bapst had a 16-4 lead at the end of the quarter.
Stearns was able to close in on Bapst in the second period because of 9-for-11 free-throw shooting. The Minutemen got their defense going as well, deploying a full-court press that limited the Crusaders to six points off of field goals. Boynton and Leana Larlee combined for 10 points in the period, and a jumper by Alison Shedd tied it up for Stearns with less than two minutes left in the half.
“The difference was that we got our intensity up,” Stearns coach Jerry Burleigh said. “We got a better jump on the ball and came back and played hard.”
Bapst took a 25-21 lead into the locker room, but Stearns returned with renewed energy for the third quarter. Boynton cut the lead to 25-23 with another layup and the squads battled back and forth, the Crusaders retaining their lead. Stearns’ guard Brooke Legasse tied it up with a free throw but John Bapst clung to a one-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
Boynton scored eight points in the third and finished with the game-high 18.
Stearns let down in the fourth quarter, scoring five points while the Youngs and the rest of the Bapst squad let loose for 19 points.
“We had the ball but we didn’t execute,” Burleigh said. “They were hustling and making us make mistakes.”
Senior guard Kira Young scored a team-high 12 for the Crusaders. Miragliuolo said the team wasn’t thinking about an early-season loss to the Minutemen in Millinocket, but Young said it was on her mind.
“it was hard to lose up there. This win felt good,” she said.
Crusaders 51, Minutemen 38
Stearns (5-4) John Bapst (7-4)
Name G AG F AF TP Name G AG F AF TP
Boynton 1 5 0 0 2 Albair 2 9 2 2 7
Shedd 1 5 0 0 2 K. Young 2 9 8 10 12
Larlee 0 5 5 6 5 Young 3 11 5 6 11
S. Boynton 7 13 4 6 18 Evans 1 9 3 6 5
Ripton 1 3 0 0 2 Moore 3 13 0 2 6
Legassey 3 5 1 2 7 Pooler 4 6 2 2 10
Page 0 2 2 3 2
Totals 13 38 12 17 38 Totals 15 57 20 28 51
Stearns 16 25 33 38
John Bapst 4 21 32 51
3-pt. goals: Stearns (0-1): S. Boynton 0-1; John Bapst (1-9): Albair 1-3, K. Young 0-1, M. Young 0-5
Attendance: 100 (est.)