September 19, 2019
SCHOOLGIRL BASKETBALL

Rende, Rollins rally Rams Foul woes don’t derail Cony express

BANGOR – Cony’s leading scorer, junior Katie Rollins, spent most the first half of Saturday’s Class A Eastern Maine quarterfinal on the bench in foul trouble. It was OK, though, classmate Briianna Rende had her back.

Rende scored 14 of her game-high 25 points in the first two quarters as the top-seeded and undefeated Rams from Augusta (19-0) built a 36-25 halftime edge and held off a second half comeback bid by No. 8 Gardiner (14-6) for a 63-47 win.

Cony meets No. 5 Mount Ararat of Topsham (16-4) in Thursday’s 8:35 p.m. semifinal at the Bangor Auditorium.

“If Katie is out of the game, it kind of takes us out the game, but it makes everyone work hard and everyone fills their spot,” Rende said.

Rende hit a 3-pointer in the closing moments of the first quarter and opened the second with back-to-back triples for a 23-14 Cony advantage. Rollins left the game early in the second with her third foul and Gardiner tried to stay close but struggled with its field-goal shooting.

“We did a good job attacking the basket until we got Katie out of the game, but when she was out we seemed to stay on the perimeter,” Tigers’ coach Heath Cowan said.

Gardiner opened the second half with six straight points, cutting Cony’s lead to 36-31. The Rams picked up their defensive intensity and Gardiner was held to just one field goal the rest of the quarter.

Rende hit a three on Cony’s final possession of the third to push the lead back to double digits, 43-33.

“I needed to come in here confident because I’d been having a few bad practices shooting-wise,” said Rende, who made four of eight from 3-point range.

Meanwhile, Rollins played the whole second half without picking up her fourth foul, and in the fourth quarter, she started to get into the scoring column. The 6-foot-2 forward scored 10 of her 21 points in the final period and also finished with 10 rebounds. Becky Dixon led the Tigers with 13 points.

“I don’t think you can play not to foul,” Rollins said. “For me, it’s really mental. If I start focusing on playing careful, that’s when I start getting in trouble.

“I was more aggressive in the fourth quarter,” Rollins added. “I had a little built-up energy from [sitting] the first half.”

RAMS 63, TIGERS 47

Gardiner (14-6) Cony (19-0)

Player G AG F AF TP Player G AG AF TP

Seymour 1 6 3 4 5 Mason 1 5 2

L. Nimon 2 9 3 4 8 Rende 8 18 25

Coughlan 3 5 2 2 10 N. Nimon 2 7

Frink 1 1 0 0 3 Cooper 3 9 8

Dixon 5 18 3 5 13 Cloutier 0 0

Spear 0 2 0 0 0 Rollins 9 17 21

McNally 2 7 1 2 5

Thornton 0 2 0 0 0

Brown 0 2 0 0 0

Pepin 1 1 1 2 3

Totals 15 53 13 19 47 Totals 23 55 10 18 63

Gardiner 14 25 33 47

Cony 17 36 43 63

3-pt. goals ? Cony (7-17): Rende 4-8, N. Nimon 2-5, Cooper 1-3, Mason 0-1; Gardiner (4-15): Coughlan 2-2, L. Nimon 1-5, Frink 1-1, Seymour 0-2, Thornton 0-2, Dixon 0-2, Spear 0-1


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