BANGOR — Third-seeded Nokomis scored the final 12 points Wednesday to escape with a 45-40 victory against seventh-ranked Camden Hills in an Eastern Class B girls’ basketball semifinal at the Bangor Auditorium.
Nokomis (18-2) will meet top-ranked Presque Isle (20-0) for the regional title at 2:05 p.m. Saturday at Bangor.
Anna Mackenzie led the Warriors with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Knowlton scored 29 for Camden Hills and took 24 of her team’s 37 shots.
The Windjammers (14-7) led 40-33 with 4:19 left after two free throws by Knowlton. Nokomis missed its first eight shots of the fourth quarter, almost all from long range, but got within 40-35 when Taylor Shaw scored off an offensive rebound with three minutes left.
With Nokomis using a full-court press, the Windjammers turned the ball over and Lindsay Whitney knocked down a 3-pointer from the left. With 1:47 to go, Mackenzie hit a turnaround in the lane to make it 40-40.
“Unfortunately, the shots that we were giving up weren’t going for three quarters, and then the last four minutes they finally started dropping for Nokomis,” Camden Hills Coach Marty Messer said. “I had some tired girls out there trying to get out and cover those, and it was tough at that time. We had some critical turnovers at the end, but I’m proud of the girls.”
After another Camden Hills turnover, Nokomis tried to get the ball in to MacKenzie. It bounced away, and Kelsie Richards saved the possession by diving to pass a loose ball to a teammate. It ended up in the hands of Richards’ twin sister, Kylie, who buried a 3 from the right wing to put Nokomis up 43-40 with 1:02 left.
“Oh God, it was crazy,” Kylie Richards said. “The fans were going crazy and we knew we had to make a shot. We knew we had to get the momentum going our way and it just happened.
“Coach said that someone needs to want the ball and make it. And I know I can make a shot.”