CASTINE, Maine – Maine-Presque Isle was unable to overcome the size and rebounding strength of the Maine Maritime Mariners, as they endured a hard-fought loss 68-57 Tuesday evening.
Maine Maritime, who won their sixth-straight improved to 10-6, while Maine Presque Isle dropped to 12-5. Maine Maritime is currently in second place in the North Atlantic Conference with a 7-2 record.
For the Owls it was the same old story, as they were once again outrebounded 46-33 by the taller Mariners. More importantly, the Mariners enjoyed a 28-10 point advantage in the paint, using the brawn of 6'3 post Bekah Campbell, who had a team-high 15 points and 9 rebounds with 4 on the offensive end that added to the Mariners 22 offensive rebounds for the game.
"It is so deflating to work so incredibly hard defensively as we do and then just give the opponent offensive rebound, after offensive rebound, point blank shot after shot," head coach Doug Carter said after the game. "We go into these games against really good teams, undermanned in terms of size and strength, we must, as a team, accept that we are just not working hard enough to rebound and win games, it has to be something our group takes to heart and overcomes."
Olivia McNalley led the Owls with a game-high 16 points and Rebecca Campbell added 13 points and nine rebounds.
Ashley Shine chipped in with 12 points for the Mariners, while Mariners leading scorer Leah Jackson was held to just 2 points. Jackson is the reigning North Atlantic Player of the Week.
The first half featured five ties and 10 lead changes, with neither team leading by more than three. The Mariners lead by three after a Campbell free throw gave them a 10-7 advantage with 13:15 left. Shine's trey at 11:11 gave Maine Maritime a 13-10 lead with two minutes later. The Owls used a 5-0 run to lead 15-13 before Alex Winchester's layup evened the game for the third time, 15-15, with 8:36 left in the opener.
After a Perron free throw tied the game for the fifth time, 24-24, with 1:33 left, the Mariners finished the half with a 5-2 run -- with three by Cheyenne Malloy and two from Jackson, to lead 29-26 at the break.
After Amanda Hotham's free throws evened the game for a sixth and final time, Maine Maritime exploded with a 13-0 run to lead 46-33 with 9:35 left. Maine Maritime would hold onto the advantage that run provided and take the victory from a game Owl squad.
The Owls will next travel to Eastern Maine Community College Thursday for a return engagement of a recent 68-52 home win for the Blue & Gold.