Hermon girls get a lift from two first-year starters

The Hermon High School girls basketball team took a 5-0 record into Tuesday night’s game against Orono. Two Hawks have elevated their games to become important contributors.

Junior forward Cait Tracy and senior guard Gabby Chasse both were substitutes who saw limited duty a year ago.

The 5-foot-10 Tracy, who came off the bench to spell Emi Higgins and Lauren Plissey last season, is leading the Hawks in scoring with 12 points per game. She is also tied for first in assists (3 apg), second in rebounds (6 rpg) and tied for third in steals (2 spg).

“Those two have done above and beyond what we expected,” said third-year head coach Chris Cameron. “The biggest surprise to me has been Cait’s play. She scored 18 against Presque Isle the other night. She has really stepped into a big role, filling the shoes vacated by Emi Higgins.

“She has always had the skill and size. She was the only freshman we kept on the varsity two years ago. But now she’s playing with confidence,” said Cameron.

The 5-9 Chasse doesn’t rack up many stats but Cameron said she is an exceptional defender who is also a “high-energy, all-over-the-place” kind of player.

“She pressures the ball and makes things difficult. She is also one of our better leaders on and off the court. She’s a vocal leader,” said Cameron. “I didn’t think she was going to start this year but she has worked real hard and gotten herself in great shape.”

Tracy and Chasse have complemented point guard Alex Allain and forwards Plissey and Maddie Pullen, the three returning three-year starters off last year’s 15-5 team that lost to eventual Class B North champ Houlton 37-33 in the semifinals. Sophomore Paige Plissey, Lauren’s sister, has also been a valuable component.

Lauren Plissey is averaging nearly 12 points and 12 rebounds while Allain is chipping in eight points, three assists and three steals.

“This is the most veteran team I’ve had in my three years and it has been nice because it means we’ve definitely started further ahead than we’ve been in the past,” said Cameron. “The players understand (our system) so we’ve started to do more with them.”