The Boothbay girls middle school basketball team won the girls small school Busline League championship by beating Lincolnville 37-31 on Saturday, Feb. 10 in Wiscasset. The Wildcats had to battle the Lynx all the way to the finish to secure the championship.
Shooters for both teams appeared to be a bit nervous at the start of the title game, which led to a close, low-scoring match. The Boothbay defense helped lead their squad to small leads of 7-5 after one quarter and 14-9 at the half. The scoring pace picked up in the third quarter as the Lynx outscored the Wildcats 14-11 in the frame to tighten the score to 25-23 Boothbay.
The game remained close and tense throughout the fourth quarter. The Wildcats finally took a lead they would not relinquish after Addie Barter finished off a nice, long pass from Xavi Hall to extend the lead to 33-29 with 3 minutes remaining.
Iris Bolduc made a pair of free throws to tally the Lynx’ final points, which closed the gap to 33-31. Lincolnville went to the foul line again with a chance to tie the score, but missed both shots. The Wildcats’ Eleanor Erwin then scored on a jump shot from the wing to extend their advantage to 35-31 with 45 seconds left. The Boothbay defense stifled the Lynx on the ensuing possession and Zuri Smith scored off a rebound to account for the final 37-31 margin that gave the Wildcats some breathing room in the closing seconds until they celebrated the victory by racing onto the court after the final buzzer.
Eleanor Erwin scored 6 of her team-high 17 points in the 4th quarter to lead the Wildcats, and Addie Barter scored 8 including two crucial baskets down the stretch. Also scoring for Boothbay were Xavi Hall 6, Zuri Smith 2, Mariah Smith 2 and Lilly Brown 2. Catherine Leadbetter scored 19 points to lead Lincolnville.
“The girls were a little nervous and struggled at the start but I’m proud that they stayed positive and stuck with it,” said Wildcats head coach Allison Crocker. “It was not our best offensive game, but the girls played great defense as a team and that made the difference,” said Crocker.