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Wisdom girls turn losing streak around, earn playoff spot

ST. AGATHA, Maine — The Wisdom Pioneers girls basketball team has come a long way since last February. The scoreboard challenged team entered the 2018-2019 regular season with the goal of winning at least one game, after two winless seasons. Now the girls are headed to the playoffs.  

The No. 9 Pioneers managed not just one, but half a dozen wins on the regular season (6-12) and will play the eighth-ranked Washburn Beavers (8-10) in a Class D preliminary game in Washburn on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 6 p.m.

“It was a very successful season this year going 6-12 with a big win in Katahdin that helped us make a prelim,” said Head Coach Derek Grivois. “We could have had more wins as well. We lost a close game in Van Buren by 8 points. We also lost two games against Ashland, one by seven and one by five. Those are all close games that we weren’t in the last two years.”

Despite the challenges they faced on the court, the Pioneers maintained positivity and perseverance.

The Maine Principal’s Association awarded the Wisdom Pioneer girls varsity basketball team the Class D North 2018 award for Good Sportsmanship on March 9. Accepting the honor are, from left, Alyssa Pelletier, Desiree Dumais, Emma Chamberland, Savanna Hanlin, Alyssa Banville, Cassandra Boucher, Dorothy Harris, Nicole Stover, Rashelle Arthur, Riley Theriault, and assistant coach Nathan Boynton. Absent when photo was taken were Autumn Roy, Emily Albert, and Head Coach Derek Grivois. (File photo courtesy of Tracie Boucher)

The Maine Principals Association awarded the Wisdom girls the 2018 Class D North Good Sportsmanship Award.

Grivois said the girls’ success on the scoreboards this year was not a matter of mere luck.

“We know we will be considered the ‘underdogs’ in every game we play just because of our record the last two seasons and how small our team is and lack of experience, but this small team has really grown together and learned how to play as one and that’s a big reason why we got here,” he said.

Now that they have exceeded pre-season goal of making it into the win column, the Pioneers are prepared to aim even higher.

“The team is really excited about this accomplishment,” said Grivois. “We know we have already exceeded everyone’s expectations by getting six wins and getting here, but we feel we match up well with Washburn and would really like to find ourselves in Bangor over February vacation.”

The winner of the Wisdom/Washburn game will face top seeded Southern Aroostook in the Class D quarterfinals on Monday, Feb. 18.

The 2018-2019 Wisdom Pioneer girls basketball team members are: Alyssa Banville, guard/forward; Lakota Bouchard, center; Savannah Hanlin, forward; Emma Chamberland, guard/forward; Autumn Roy, guard; Abbie Lerman, guard; Olivia Ouellette, forward/center; Kylie Pelletier, forward; and Gianna Merced, forward.

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