Central Aroostook Lady Panthers, A Dark Horse Team In Class C

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 6:44 PM EST
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Mars Hill , Maine (WAGM) -The Central Aroostook Girls Basketball Team has flown under the radar, quietly putting together a great season. With First Year Varsity Head Coach Paul Deschaine leading the squad, the players have embodied the mentality of being one of the better defensive teams in Class C.

Kira Fitzherbert:” I feel like we’re getting closer, and were doing a lot better with communication, and really moving the ball, and finding equal scoring opportunities for everybody and it’s really helping us come together and put up some more points”.

The Central Aroostook Panthers are turning into one of the dark horse teams in the Class C North. One of the keys to their rise as been on Defense under the direction of first year varsity head coach Paul Deschaine, which has improved greatly this season.

Abby Haines:” Definitely talking a lot, we have a lot of speed which is good for defense, we’ve been moving our feet a lot and we’ve been changing up defenses and will find some we stick to”.

Kira Fitzherbert:” Communication, being where we need to be, focusing on who we need to focus on, and just putting in an all-out effort to be able to run with the teams we play against so were not really behind all that much”.

While the team is keeping other teams’ points total down, They realize to keep up and win the games against tougher opponents, the offense will need to step up, And According to Coach Deschaine, it is starting to take form.

Paul Deschaine:” The offense is coming, we’re starting to see the spurts of the offense we want the inside, outside game. We believe that we have a strong post play with senior Kira Fitzherbert and junior riley pierce being on the inside. We’ve got the outside game with Izabel Pryor, Abby Haines, and Harleigh Allen. Harleigh Allen Started as an 8th grader last year, now being a freshman. Sticking into it, you starting to notice she’s starting to get it, the team’s gelling together exactly; Again, it’s the right time, you know these girls have been through several coaches the last couple of years. It does take some time and different coaching mentality, different coaching things that we’ve gone through, but the girls have really accepted it”.

The end of the season is creeping up and the tournament is drawing near. The Panthers know there is still work to be done

Kira Fitzherbert:” Speed wise were fast, but the cross center is a huge gym to play and it’s a really big floor. Definitely stretching out our defense out to fit a floor like that and just being able to keep up the same pace we’ve kept all year”.

Paul Deschaine:” Cause I believe this team is a team nobody talked about like three years ago when the girls went on to the state title, some of those kids were on that team three years ago. So, they have that taste of a state title, they have that taste of a tournament, i believe that these girls could go out there;(if) we get our offense put together, like its slowly coming through, and we continue the defense that were doing, it’s a team people should start watching out for, they’ll start paying attention to the Central Aroostook panthers”.

if that synergy between the offense and defense can jump to the next level, people might start just paying attention to who the central Aroostook panthers are.

Jonathon Eigenmann, Newssource sports.