Many North Country high school sports buffs have all been asked the same question after Saturday's Division IV girls' basketball game played in Gorham. When was the last time Gorham beat Groveton in a girls' basketball game? Sophomore Alexis Kruskie scored a team high 11 points helping the Gorham girls to a thrilling 43-40 overtime over the Groveton Purple Eagles. Both teams have identical records after the game at 7-8.
The two teams swapped the lead several times over the first three quarters. Gorham led 14-10 after one quarter, Groveton led 21-20 at the half, and the Huskies led 30-28 with eight minutes to play. The Gorham girls were playing their second straight contest without junior point guard Delaney Holmes and it was evident by the turnovers made, when Groveton applied some full-court pressure. Seniors Felicia Voisine and Lauren Gralenski picked up where they could with the ball handling duties. Unfortunately, Gralenski spent some time on the bench with foul issues and when Voisine was knocked hard to the floor and had to retreat to the bench for medical attention, the Huskies were just trying to get the ball down floor.
Groveton trailed 36-34 with 1:16 to play and called time out. Gorham was in a very active 2-3 defense and forced the Eagles to work the basketball around to get a good look. Groveton was patient got the looks they wanted but missed two shots in the final minute and the Huskies now had possession of the ball under their own hoop with just 15.7 to play. On the in-bounds, the Huskies turned the ball over and Groveton still had life. There was nine seconds showing on the clock when Groveton's Brooke Routhier knocked down a 10-footer to tie the game 36-36 and send the game into overtime.
In the extra session, Gorham played some of their best basketball of the year. The Huskies led 39-38 with 1:47 to play. Groveton went into their full court press and the Huskies utilized some great passing down the floor to give Maddie Rivard a lay-up for a 41-38 lead.
Groveton had a couple of shots that they missed and then they fouled Gorham and put them at the line. The Huskies became their own worst enemy when two front ends of one and ones were missed at the foul line, keeping Groveton alive. The Huskies worked the ball down the floor and Kruskie knocked down a 10 footer from the side to make it 43-38 with 27.3 remaining.
The Eagles tried to get a hoop to fall but had a hard time against a good Gorham zone defense. Finally eighth grader Lauren Tyler hit a jumper to bring the visitors to within one possession at 43-40. However, there was only 2.4 seconds to play. Gorham got the ball in bounds and ran out the clock for their first win over Groveton in many, many years.
For the game, the Eagles had 18 field goals but struggled shooting 4-12 from the foul line. Routhier 12 and Brooke Desilets 10 points provided the scoring punch for the Eagles.
The Huskies had eight different players score on 16 field goals from the floor and 8-16 from the free throw line. Kruskie 11 and freshman Karly Cordwell nine points were the top contributors.
Gorham will have a busy week playing three games in four days. On Tuesday, Gorham travels to play Profile and on Wednesday to Canaan/Pittsburg. The girls will close out their regular season hosting Linwood on Friday.
Huskies 14 06 10 06 07 43
Eagles 10 11 07 08 04 40