East Grand girls seek repeat trip to Bangor

1 year ago

DANFORTH, Maine — A year ago, the East Grand girls basketball team enjoyed a solid overall campaign after not fielding a team in the 2020-21 season. 

The Viking girls played with great chemistry, compiling a 10-7 regular season record and hosted a playoff game for the first time in seven years. 

East Grand defeated Van Buren 49-15, earning a spot in the quarterfinals in Bangor, where the team fell to No. 3 Machias 47-36.

“We are hoping to improve from last year and build off our successes,” second-year coach Matt Day said. “We learned from the Bangor experience, which really built our confidence. Now we are looking to go deeper into the postseason. I predict we will be a sleeper team in Class D.”

With essentially the exact same team returning, it is easy to see why the coach has high hopes for the coming year.
Members of the 2022-23 Viking squad are seniors Madeline Cowger, Phoebe Foss and Emma Davis; juniors Jenna Boyd, Kailea Fish, Victoria Gilman and Jayden Williams; and sophomores Isabella Cowger and Hannah Doiron.

“The girls grew taller, got stronger and now have tournament experience,” coach Day said. “The loss in Bangor has seemed to have fired them up. They are using this season as a second chance to redeem themselves. They’re definitely focused.”

The Vikings’ starting five, at least to begin the season, will likely be Gilman, Isabelle Cowger, Madeline Cowger, Davis and Foss.

Isabelle Cowger has a good jump shot and should be a solid inside presence for the team. Foss is probably the team’s best all-around player and athlete. Davis will be the team’s primary ball handler and floor general, while Madeline Cowger has shown tremendous improvement in both her shooting and drives to the basket during the preseason, the coach said. 

He added that Williams will probably be the first player off the bench and brings a spark to the team when she enters the contest. She is perhaps the team’s best defender, which could earn her a spot in the starting lineup at some point during the season.

“We did not lose anyone (to graduation) so we are essentially the same team as last year, with two new additions,” Coach Day said. “I am excited to see what Kailea Fish and Hannah Doiron can bring to the team.”

Day said defending state champ Southern Aroostook will be the team to beat this season, with Wisdom and Hodgdon both proving to be exceptional opponents for the Vikings.