AUGUSTA – The Old Orchard Beach girls’ basketball team can score many ways, driving to the basket or popping 3-pointers.
So it was mystifying that the Seagulls missed all their shots in the first quarter Wednesday morning in a Western Class C girls’ basketball quarterfinal against Madison.
“We usually get off to a good start,” Old Orchard Beach senior Kelsey Custeau said. And (3-pointers) are usually our strength.”
Not this time. Madison took an 8-0 first-quarter lead and never fell behind in a 51-43 win at the Augusta Civic Center.
The fifth-seeded Bulldogs (14-6) advanced to the semifinals against No. 8 Dirigo, which upset top-seeded St. Dom’s, 46-43. The No. 4 Seagulls are done at 14-6.
The Seagulls closed to within five twice in the second half, but Madison held on. Abby Dubois paced Old Orchard Beach with 15 points.
“It was tough. We came out flat,” said Dubois, a junior. “Halftime really helped us. But we started too late.”
Mackenzie Rague put the Seagulls on the board with a 3-pointer with 6:05 left in the second quarter. But two minutes later, Madison led 17-3, as Old Orchard Beach was 1 for 21 from the field and 0 for 4 from the free-throw line.
“You can point to a lot of different things, but the first quarter and a half hurt,” Old Orchard Beach Coach Dean Plante. “It’s tough to come back when you shoot that poorly.
”We had some great looks in the paint and some great looks at the 3. We just didn’t knock them down.
Neither Plante nor his players would blame the 8:30 a.m. start time – necessitated by Tuesday’s games being postponed by snow.
“I got up at 4:30 (a.m.) and the bus left at 6:10,” Custeau said. “It was early, but both (teams) had to do it.”
Down 24-11 at halftime, the Seagulls came back out of the locker room early to practice shooting.
“I told them to put some balls up and shake off the rust,” Plante said.
With Dubois driving, Old Orchard Beach closed to 34-29 with 1:40 left in the third quarter. But the Bulldogs closed the quarter with three straight inside baskets to lead 40-29.
“They execute well,” Plante said. “It’s frustrating. We got over the hump and then gave up quick baskets.
“But we exerted a lot of energy to get back at that point. And they ran in fresh players.”
Madison used its depth, with nine players scoring. Guard Kirsten Wood scored 10 points.
The Seagulls closed to within 48-43 on two free throws by Lauralee Small with 30 seconds left but could get no closer.
“This is a wide-open Class C tournament,” Plante said. “We thought we had a good chance of winning. We need to regroup. We’ve got four starters back, and we’ll be back in Augusta next year.”
DIRIGO 46, ST. DOM’S 43: Sabrina Daoud converted a three-point play with two seconds remaining as eighth-seeded Dirigo came from behind to stun top-seeded St. Dom’s.
Jessica Conant scored five of her 14 points in the fourth quarter for Dirigo (13-7). Kelsey Hutchins added nine points, including four in the final quarter.
Kelley Pomerleau scored 19 points for St. Dom’s (15-4).
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at: