“I think it has been seven years since a Houlton girls team has beaten Presque Isle,” said 12th-year Shire coach Shawn Graham. “We have to go way back to 2008.”
Houlton (3-0) held Presque Isle to just 10 field goals and used a 21-3 run in the second quarter to open up a lead it would never relinquish for a 63-42 Class B North victory Wednesday night. Presque Isle drops to 1-2.
Houlton’s Kolleen Bouchard led all players with 22 points, while Natalie Hill chipped in 17 and Rylee Warman and Aspen Flewelling both added nine.
For Presque Isle, Emily Wheaton netted 13 points, while Taylor Williams added eight.
The Wildcats, coached by Jeff Hudson, opened the game with strong perimeter shooting, receiving 3-pointers from Williams and Olivia Hudson along with a free throw by Wheaton to take a 7-2 lead in the first two minutes of play.
“I told the girls before the game that a good shooting team like Presque Isle is bound to have some runs,” Graham said. “We just had to stay with them and concentrate on getting stops.”
Houlton battled back thanks to the sharp shooting of Hill, who connected on three jumpers in the quarter. Presque Isle benefited from numerous free throws in the first frame, sinking 5-of-10 foul shots. The two squads were knotted at 13-13 at the end of the first period.
Houlton took over in the second quarter, going on a 21-3 run to break open the game. In that run, Bouchard netted eight of her 22 points, while Hill chipped in six more and Warman added five. Presque Isle never recovered.
For the game, Presque Isle made 17-of-31 (55 percent) free throws, while Houlton sank 12-of-17 (71 percent).
It is not often that two Eastern Maine champions meet on the hardwood during a regular season affair, but that was the case Wednesday evening. Presque Isle was Eastern Maine Class B champion a season ago, while Houlton was Eastern Class C and State C champs last year.
“This was just a great team effort,” Graham said. “The defense was there. We operate off our defense and hustle and tonight it showed.”