WINDHAM — If Windham High was going to advance past the preliminary round of the Western Class A girls’ basketball tournament, it knew it would be because of defense.
And guard Sam Frost knew it would be her defense that set the tone.
Frost was assigned to guard Sanford High’s leading scorer, Morgan Fogg, and did her job. Fogg scored just two points Wednesday night and seventh-seeded Windham turned back the 10th-ranked Spartans, 35-23.
Fogg had scored 16 in a regular-season game between the teams, won by Windham by three points.
“That was our game plan,’’ said Eagles Coach Brody Artes. “We wanted to limit the amount of touches Fogg had, let alone the amount of points. Sam did a phenomenal job on her tonight. She executed the game plan perfectly.’’
Windham (12-7) will play second-seeded Thornton Academy in the quarterfinals at 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Portland Expo. The Eagles lost 37-24 to the Trojans on Jan. 14.
Windham’s overall defense was strong against the Spartans. The Eagles also controlled the inside, getting numerous offensive rebounds that led to second-chance points.
But it was Frost who took the spotlight.
“We figured if we shut her down, we’d shut them down,’’ she said. “I just pretty much face-guarded her, wouldn’t let her get open. She loves to penetrate and we needed to stop that. I had good help defense for that.’’
Artes had her prepare for the game by guarding freshman Lyndsey Arsenault, Windham’s fastest player, in a practice scrimmage.
“It really got me ready for (Fogg),’’ said Frost.
Windham took the lead for good late in the first quarter. Trailing 7-6, the Eagles got a 3-pointer from Luisa Sbardella with 1:14 remaining in the period.
After a defensive stop, Windham hit the offensive boards, with Sadie Nelson putting in the second offensive rebound of the sequence.
She was fouled and hit the free throw to make it 12-7.
Sanford got back within 15-14 on a short jumper by Summer Camire with 5:19 left in the second.
But the Spartans wouldn’t score for a stretch of nine minutes and 31 seconds as Windham extended the advantage to 23-14.
Camire broke the drought with another short jumper but Windham never let the Spartans make a big run.
“I think we did not execute offensively at all,’’ said Spartans Coach Kristy Parent. “Unforced turnovers. No execution of our plays. They did a good job on Morgan. They took her out of the flow of the game.
“I’ve been telling the kids all year that other kids needed to step up and score. Nobody stepped up today.’’
Nelson led Windham with 11 points and, along with Lonnie Staten (eight points, four blocked shots) and Haley Batchelder (six points, five offensive rebounds) helped the Eagles control the inside.
Mike Lowe can be reached at 791-6422 or at: