Shires knock off Calais in battle of unbeatens
HOULTON, Maine — The Houlton girls notched their eighth straight win Wednesday and beat a previously undefeated team in the process for the second straight game, as the Shires bested Calais 62-48.
Senior Kolleen Bouchard poured in 30 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and had eight assists and six blocks to lead Houlton to victory. Sophomore Teagan Ewings had 11 points for the Shires while senior Aspen Flewelling added seven points and junior Tessa Solomon chipped in six.
Calais (7-1) was led by Lauren Cook with 24 points, including five 3-pointers, and Sophia McVicar with nine points.
The Shires got off to a shaky start, which allowed Calais to jump to a 10-3 lead in the first three minutes of action. Houlton made a number of uncharacteristic bad passes in the opening quarter.
“We talked at the half about making good decisions (with the basketball),” Houlton coach Shawn Graham said. “We also focused on picking up the defensive intensity. We had some poor passes in the first half and I don’t think the effort was where it needed to be.”
Graham attributed the second-half turnaround to the defensive effort put forth by junior Jamie Brown, who came off the bench and closely guarded Calais’ top threat, Cook, holding her to just five points in the third quarter.
“Once again Jamie came in and got us going defensively,” he said. “Everybody kind of jumps on the train when she gets out there.”
Fatigue may have been a factor for Calais in the second half as Blue Devils coach Arnold Clark did not use a single substitute for the entire game.
“I think we just wore them down,” coach Graham said. “When you only play five kids, they are going to be gassed.”
Houlton went on a 20-8 run in the third quarter to extend a 28-22 halftime lead.
The Shires won the junior varsity game as well, by a score of 53-18.
In its last game on Jan. 6, the Houlton girls varsity bested another previously unbeaten team — Central of Corinth — 55-45.