AUGUSTA — Martha Veroneau scored 31 points to lead fourth-seeded Waynflete to a 73-52 win over top-ranked Boothbay Region in a Western Class C girls’ basketball semifinal Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Even Boothbay Coach Tanner Grover didn’t consider the result an upset.
“We kind of felt if we were going to win, it would be the first-ever (No. 1) seed upsetting the fourth seed,” he said.
The Flyers set a torrid pace and advanced to the regional final for the second consecutive season.
“It was a great transition game on their part,” said Grover, in his first season as coach of the Seahawks. “A lot of their 3s came in transition and they shot the ball incredibly well.”
Waynflete (18-3) was very comfortable playing uptempo.
“Even though we know it’s not going to be perfect, and it gets a little ragged when we get tired, we need that pace, we need to go up and down,” Waynflete Coach Brandon Salway said. “We may miss a few trips but it pays off with (scoring) runs, we hope.”
The Flyers raced to a 33-20 lead in the first half, when they connected on 14 of 22 shots.
Veroneau scored 15 points in the first quarter to help the Flyers take a 22-11 lead.
“I was just pleased with our approach,” Salway said. “We were really aggressive. You can’t worry about misses. You’ve got to really step into your shots and let them fly, and I felt we did that.”
Waynflete also did a tremendous defensive job during the first half, forcing 13 turnovers, and rebounded effectively against the taller Seahawks.
“Coach has been so good about getting us to work on our defensive rebounding, checking out and boxing out, for the entire season, but especially during the past week because we knew we would come in and face these taller teams in the tournament,” Veroneau said.
Boothbay (17-3) closed the gap to 41-30 in the third quarter, but the Flyers finished the quarter with an 8-0 run to open a 53-32 lead.
“Even when it got a little tight, down around 11, we hit some big shots,” Salway said.
Rhiannan Jackson, one of the four players to make a 3-pointer for the Flyers, scored 16 points.
Alex Clarke led Boothbay with 19 points. Allison Crocker followed with 12 and Sarah Caron had 10.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: