Shires reflect on golden game

8 years ago
BANGOR, Maine — By all accounts, it was a season to remember for the Houlton girls basketball team.

The Shires beat Gray-New Gloucester, 48-35, Friday evening in the Class B state championship game at the Cross Insurance Center (See accompanying story). It is the second straight year that Houlton has won the gold ball.

Senior Chelsea Gentle said winning last year, when nobody expected the team to win, probably stands out as her more favored state game, but that does take away from the excitement of Friday’s contest.

“The first time was probably the sweetest because we were young and never won,” Gentle said. “But winning the second time is nice because of the fact that we moved up a class and there was a lot of pressure [to win] all year.”

Senior Katie Condon, who missed the majority of the season after sustaining a knee injury in the fifth game of the year, said it was difficult to sit and watch from the bench this postseason.

“Words can’t describe how hard it was for me to sit and watch these games,” she said.

Because she recently underwent knee surgery, even her celebrations had to be reserved. But when the final seconds ticked off, Condon said she couldn’t resist the urge to jump up and down.

“I couldn’t help it, but I regretted it afterward,” she joked. “These girls, I have believed in them the whole year. Going up a class, it just shows how good this team is. We’re so solid.”

Condon praised the play of sophomore Aspen Flewelling, who took over Condon’s starting role and flourished this year.

Senior Megan Collett said both championship victories were “pretty incredible” and ‘to do this with this group of girls, in my senior year, it’s just awesome,” she said.

Junior Rylee Warman celebrated her 17th birthday on Friday and her present was the focus of much talk during day.

“It was definitely the talk of the day on the bus ride down,” she said.

Warman said when Gray-New Gloucester cut the lead to five at one point in the fourth quarter, coach Shawn Graham kept the calm with a few simple words of advice.

“Coach just told us basketball is game of runs, and that we would go on a run of our own,” she said. “He just told us to play solid defense and we would get it [the championship].”