Nailbiting win over rival could provide big boost for Fort Kent girls

Usually, in rivalry games, you can throw out the records.

But on Friday night in the St. John Valley, there was no need to do so.

Fort Kent and Madawaska, which are separated by the final 20 miles of U.S. Route 1, met in a Class C North girls basketball clash that was pivotal for both schools.

The Owls came in having won their first nine games, while the Warriors were riding a three-game win streak.

That streak included victories over defending Class D North champion Shead of Eastport and Class C contender Woodland, so  coach Kelly O’Leary’s club had some momentum entering the home contest.

The Warriors used it to earn their biggest victory of the season to date, with Cassidy Lovely canning a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to lift Fort Kent to a thrilling 47-46 victory.

Not only did Fort Kent earn its fourth straight win, the Wariors picked up some valuable Heal Points along the way, vaulting into fourth place in Class C North behind only Piscataquis of Guilford, Stearns of Millinocket and George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill.

If the regular season had ended Saturday, the 9-4 Warriors would bypass the preliminary round of the Class C playoffs and advance directly to the Cross Insurance Center.

Games against Woodland, Presque Isle and a rematch with Madawaska remain on Fort Kent’s schedule, so the Warriors will have a chance to inch even further up the standings as the regular season enters its stretch drive in the coming weeks.

Lovely had 17 points in Friday night’s victory while Libby LaPointe recorded a game-high 21 points.

Fort Kent features a fairly young roster, which has only two seniors. Lovely and LaPointe are juniors.

But with the tournament approaching and four of their last five games on the road, the Warriors can only hope that this is a springboard to the Queen City in February.

Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

Ryan McLaughlin is a longtime Bangor Daily News writer who is also a fitness trainer at Union Street Athletics in Bangor. Before becoming a fitness trainer, Ryan enjoyed long-distance running and participated in numerous road races over the years. When he isn't writing, instructing classes or training, Ryan enjoys obstacle course racing, playing golf, raising his newborn son Liam with wife Alissa and all sports.