Guilford, ME-- Freshman Delani Bennett and senior Cory Fellows combined to pull down 34 rebounds in leading the Piscataquis community high school (PCHS) Pirates girls basketball team to a 62-33 victory over the Stearns Minutemen on Wednesday evening.
Fellows said, "It helps to get the rebound and get the kick out to the girls that can go long and score at the other end."
Fellows or Bennett would look to get the ball out to the very quick Alex Speed off the rebound.
Speed took care of the rest by either scoring herself or finding the open player.
"We get a lot of points running," Speed said. "We have two of the best rebounders in the league and that helps a lot."
Fellows gave the Pirates a 5-3 lead with 6:14 remaining in the first quarter. They would hold the lead the rest of the way including a 28-21 edge going into halftime.
PCHS put the game away with a 16-2 run to start the third quarter. Jesse Bell scored 10 of her game high 21 points during the Pirates third quarter run.
"The third quarter was huge," PCHS coach Brian Gaw said. "We came out and took care of the ball and made some shots."
The Pirates came into Wednesday on a two game losing streak. PCHS did some team building after losses to two (Central and Dexter) of the best in class C.
"We finally started clicking and we were communicating," Bell said. "We had a practice where it was team building and I think we all have gotten closer and it made a huge difference."
PCHS out-rebounded Stearns 50-38. Bennett finished with eight points, 20 rebounds, five assists and five blocks. Fellows recorded 13 points and 14 rebounds.
"When you can dominate the boards like that the other team needs to shoot a pretty high percentage just to stay in the game," Gaw said. "There is a nack to rebounding to it and there is a tenacity to it. They have a nack but sometimes they lack the tenacity. Tonight I think they went after it a little better."
On December 11th the Pirates traveled to Millinocket and pulled out a close victory. Gaw and the Pirates did something a little different defensively this time.
They played a triangle and two on Taylor Pelkey and Alex Mooney with freshman Mikayla Dow the key defender on Mooney.
"We didn't change anything offensively. Defensively we went straight man for 32 up there. Today anytime Pelkey was in the game we played a triangle and two just to throw a little wrinkle in there," Gaw said. "I thought Mikayla Dow did a tremendous job on her (Mooney). I can not say enough about what she did."
Speed finished with 14 points, five assists and four steals. The sophomore hit six out of nine free throws.
"She (Speed) does everything. She is at the point on a triangle and two, guarding two people 20 feet apart and she had a bunch of steals and four or five deflections," Gaw said. "She starts the break, she runs the break. She had a really good game today."
Pelkey led the Minutemen with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Mooney chipped in with seven points. Emily Wark added five points. Mikayla Glidden and Shelby Pelkey chipped in with two points each. Lauren Jamo scored one point.
Stearns (2-7) will next play on Saturday, January 5th when they travel to Houlton for a 7 p.m. game against the Shiretowners.
Haylee Patterson, Brooke Morrill and Dow chipped in with two points each for the Pirates. Bell recorded seven rebounds, two steals and one assist.
PCHS (4-2) will next play on Friday, January 4th when they host George Stevens. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.