Calais girls off to 6-0 start with important contests upcoming

The youthful Calais High School girls basketball team is off to a 6-0 start. But head coach Arnie Clark’s Blue Devils are just eighth in the Class C North Heal Point standings because the teams they have beaten had a combined 9-36 record going into Friday’s games.

Narraguagus of Harrington (6-1) was the only opponent with a winning record and the only one Calais didn’t beat by double figures.

Calais bested Narraguagus 50-42 on Dec. 16 in Calais.

Clark is concerned about his players “picking up bad habits” when they play teams that are struggling but he also noted that he is happy with his team.

“They’re young, they work really hard and they don’t lack for enthusiasm,” said Clark. “We aren’t very big at all but we’re fairly quick and we have some pretty good shooters.

“We play Houlton on Wednesday. We’ll find out how good we are,” said Clark.

Houlton, the defending two-time Class B North champion, is now in Class C.

The second half does have some point-worthy games as the Blue Devils play 6-0 Houlton and 6-1 Woodland twice each and also must go to Narraguagus.

Calais has only one senior and two juniors. The rest are freshmen and sophomores.

The Devils start one senior, three sophomores and a freshman.

Sophomore guards Olivia Huckins and Lauren Cook and freshman guard Sophie McVicar, sister of University of Maine guard Maddy McVicar, are the Blue Devils’ leading scorers. They are all in the 12 points-per-game range, according to Clark.

The other starters are senior guard Prue Maxwell and sophomore forward Elizabeth Bitar.

McVicar will also occasionally play down low.

Huckins, Cook and Maxwell started last year as did Sydney Farrar, who transferred to Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield.

Two other players who would have been on the roster also transferred as sisters Katie Erskine and Emily Erskine are playing for Woodland.

Junior Nicole Nicholson and freshmen Natalie Altvater and Sernia Fredette get some minutes off the bench.

Pitar, who is in the 5-foot-7 range, is the tallest player on the roster.

The Blue Devils play a variety of defenses, including full-court and three-quarter-court zone traps, to try to take advantage of their quickness.

The 72-year-old Clark guided the Blue Devils to a 14-6 record and a berth in the Class C North quarterfinals last season after spending 14 seasons as the Calais boys coach and 16 as the Woodland girls coach.

The Blue Devils host Bucksport on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.