AUGUSTA — On Waynflete’s first possession, center Morgan Woodhouse received a pass in the high post, then turned and discovered three Madison defenders surrounding her.

“Obviously, we had to stop her,” Madison Coach Al Veneziano said of Woodhouse, a 6-foot center who had 5 inches on the tallest defender. “She could beat you all by yourself. We wanted somebody in back of her, somebody in front of her and somebody ready to jump in and help.”

The strategy worked to perfection Saturday night, in large part because Woodhouse’s teammates managed only two field goals, one in each half.

Top-seeded Madison never trailed on the way to a 37-23 victory in the Western Class C girls’ basketball championship game at the Augusta Civic Center.

The Bulldogs (17-4) return to the state finals for the second time in three years. They will play Eastern Maine champion Calais on Saturday in Augusta.

Waynflete, seeded second, finishes 15-4 after losing in the regional final for the second season in a row.

“We were just pressing offensively,” said Waynflete Coach Brandon Salway, whose team was held scoreless in the second quarter and without a field goal for a stretch of 16 minutes, 42 seconds from late in the first quarter until the last minute of the third. “The more balls that rolled off and didn’t go in, the more we were pressing.”

Waynflete was 0 for 15 in 3-point attempts. Woodhouse finished with 16 points, but the only other Flyers with a field goal were Lydia Stegemann, who scored the first basket of the game for Waynflete, and Amelia Mitchell, who scored with eight seconds left in the third quarter.

“I thought Morgan was a little unselfish to a fault,” said Salway, who told his team during a first-half timeout to make sure Woodhouse touched the ball on every possession. “I would have liked to see her take the ball to the hoop a little more, but she’s an unselfish kid.

“We just couldn’t get anything to fall.”

Madison senior Ali Russell, who scored 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, was given the Robin  Colcord Award as the tournament’s outstanding player. With Woodhouse guarding her, Russell often stood near half court just to get Woodhouse away from the basket.

“We wanted to do everything we could to pull her out of the paint,” said Russell.

With the score tied at 9 late in the first quarter, Russell converted an offensive rebound that sparked a 13-0 run to close out the first half.

The Bulldogs often passed the ball a dozen or more times before shooting, and all five starters scored in the first half.

“We knew we had good team chemistry,” said Madison point guard Bianca Stoutamyer. “We just had to go out and play hard.”

The Flyers twice cut the margin to single digits, midway through the third quarter and early in the fourth, but were never able to come closer than nine after intermission.

“I knew there would be a lot of focus on me,” said Woodhouse. “They played really good defense, but I’m happy with the way we played in the second half. We definitely matched their intensity.”

A raft of traveling violations added to Waynflete’s offensive woes.

“I think we were all kind of nervous,” said Woodhouse, the lone Waynflete senior. “You kind of lose your momentum when you get called for, like, 10 travels in a row.”

 

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

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