Narraguagus girls hoping to make another title run

Madison Leighton (left) of Narraguagus High School, pictured during a 2017 tournament game in Bangor, is the only senior this season for a Knights team that is off to a 9-1 start.

The Narraguagus High School girls captured the school’s first state basketball championship two years ago behind Bangor Daily News Schoolgirl All-Maine Basketball Team honorable mention Kelli Kennedy.

After losing her to graduation, the Knights had a solid 14-6 campaign last season.

The Knights beat Fort Kent 60-41 in a preliminary round game before losing to Stearns of Millinocket 51-41 in the quarterfinals.

Coach Heather Thompson’s Knights are having another outstanding season at 9-1 and she thinks her team could be “dangerous” come tournament time.

“We have a good, solid eight to 10 players we can play at any time without losing a lot,” said Thompson. “We have a great bench. We have very talented athletes.”

“The big challenge for us is making sure we keep the chemistry going and keeping everyone on the same page,” added Thompson.

Thompson said this could be one of the best teams they’ve ever had when it comes to scoring balance and depth.

“Everybody can shoot. And because we have so many contributors (scoring-wise), it makes it hard for other teams to shut us down,” said Thompson.

She admits the team’s weak schedule is a concern.

Narraguagus has only played two teams that have winning records, Calais and Woodland. They are both 7-1.

Narraguagus lost at Calais 50-42 on Dec. 16 and beat Woodland 72-42 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor six days later.

The Knights are riding an eight-game winning streak.

Narraguagus loves to run and play an uptempo style. They create a lot of turnovers.

“We get a lot of our points that way,” said Thompson, whose team has scored at least 59 points in all but the Calais game.

Narraguagus has only one senior, point guard Madison Leighton, who is a consistent scorer and is among the team leaders in assists.

Forward-centers Kylee Joyce, a junior, and Kaci Alley, a sophomore, are the top rebounders even though each stands 5-foot-6.

Junior guard Lanie Perry and sophomore forward Kirstin Kennedy are up there among the assists leaders as both have good court awareness.

“Kirstin may not score like some of our other players but she is our best defender. She can really pass the ball and she sees the floor well. She is a real hustler,” said Thompson.

Sophomore guard Emma Redimarker has been the leading scorer in some games this season and forward-center Anna Strout is a “great freshman” said Thompson.

Strout and junior forward-center Breanna Smith, an effective rebounder, are the tallest Knights at 5-8.

Anna Taylor, a 5-4 sophomore guard, is an outside shooting specialist and Madison Pray is a versatile 5-5 junior guard.