STANDISH—Emily Bartash – just a sophomore – led the Scots to victory when Falmouth came to town on Friday evening, Feb. 1. Bartash kicked in 22 total, including seven in an overwhelming first quarter, eight minutes in which Bonny Eagle built a 27-6 advantage.
The Yachtsmen did make up a bit of ground as the game wore on, but ultimately slipped again to succumb 61-40.
“Overall, I can’t complain,” Bonny Eagle head coach Scott Regan said. “We ran all 10 of our kids , and got contributions out of just about everybody.”
“It was one of those I was worried about,” Regan continued, “because it’s a great trap: You come off a nice Portland win, and then you have a tough week next week, and you look at records and you worry about whether or not the kids are going to come ready and focused. And then you lose the JV game before, so there’s no normalcy.”
“We wanted to make sure we came out strong,” Bartash said. “We couldn’t come out scared. We had to make sure that we played together as a team…We had a pretty good game overall. We didn’t come out as strong in the second half as we did in the first half – which we are working on, and we are getting better at.”
Bonny Eagler Taylor Johnson opened the first quarter with a two; fellow Scot Emma Abbott then nailed a pair from the line and Bartash dropped in her initial bucket for a quick 6-0. The Yachtsmen got on the board next, but Bartash followed up their lone strike with three frees and a two.
Sam Averill actually tallied the Scots’ heftiest take in the first, earning eight, two of which she scored on a Avianna Rath feed and two more of which she scored on a Abbott steal-feed combo. Mackenzie Emery also added points during the stretch.
“I was a bit nervous about how we were going to come out,” Regan reiterated. “We obviously came out pretty well. So I was pleased with that.”
Falmouth outpaced their hosts in the second quarter, chewing through six points of their 21-point deficit. Cameron Birks, Chelsea Graiver, Maddy Joyce, Brooke Douglas and Olivia Rogers each drained a two during that time, and Karley Piers drained a three. Bonny Eagle was hardly silent – Emery hashed a couple frees and Meghan Champagne one, while Bartash hashed another two and Allie Hegarty a two as well.
“We had a bad second quarter,” Regan said, “and that was my fault. Because, with the mix of kids I put in, we got some more kids some varsity experience, and wanted to get Meg a little bit of a shot at the point.”
The Scots rushed back out front in the third, however. Bartash picked up two more twos and two more frees, Averill a three and a two and Emery a two as the home team outstripped Falmouth 13-7 and recovered their 21-point upper-hand. 47-26.
Regan remarked on Bartash’s growth. “Emily has really developed,” he said. “She has worked her butt off. In every part of her game – she’s more aggressive, going after the rebounds on both ends, her attempts at blocking the shot. Against Portland the other night, she did some those things; we moved her up in the zone, to try to take advantage of her length.”
Bartash assessed herself mildly: “I started out the season not as strong as I am now. I really put in the work to get to where I am now, and I hope to continue improving throughout the years.”
In the fourth, the sides matched up evenly, grabbing 14 apiece. Johnson had a three for the Scots and Champagne a two; Hegarty also had a two, and Bartash two twos and three frees, en route to Bonny Eagle’s eventual victory.
“With our scouting that we do, the kids get good idea,” Regan said, asked if his girls knew what to expect from Falmouth. “Chelsea Graiver is a great little scorer. So that’s one we’re going to focus on. The kids feel pretty comfortable when we walk into a game; they’ve grown so much since the beginning of the year…I’ve been pretty pleased with how they’ve responded to just about every challenge.”
Bartash echoed her coach: “We’ve definitely improved a lot through the season. We’re better at moving the ball and being strong with the ball, so I think overall we’ve just become a better team.”
The Scots moved on the win to 10-6 this winter. The team, currently ranked fifth in AA South, welcomed Massabesic (No. 7, 6-10) on Tuesday the fifth; they close their regular schedule two days later at Windham (No. 2 in AA North, 10-6).
“We lost at Gorham by three, we lost at Marshwood by one,” Regan said; “those are two phenomenal teams. And that’s really where we’ve been for the last month is, those are our two losses. We’ve been putting things together at the right times.”
Bartash emphasized the Scots’ togetherness, their unity as an outfit. “I’m very confident that we can do great as a team,” she said, asked about moving onward to the playoffs. “I love my team. I can’t wait to continue playing the season with them.”
Adam Birt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.
Avianna Rath reels in a rebound for the Scots.
Taylor Johnson skirts a Yachtsmen opponent.
Sam Averill fires off an inside shot.
Emma Abbott battles past a Falmouth enemy.
Emily Bartash led the Scots to victory, tallying 22.
Mackenzie Emery helms the Scots’ offense from her post at point guard.