AUGUSTA — It was only one shot, and it came in the first half. Yet it meant everything to the Deering Rams.
Tasia Titherington swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half, helping the Rams salvage a terrible second quarter.
Deering then rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to beat Lewiston 51-47 Thursday night in a Class AA girls’ basketball quarterfinal game at the Augusta Civic Center.
“That obviously helped us psychologically,” Deering Coach Mike Murphy said of Titherington’s 3-pointer. “To be down by only six was a blessing.”
Titherington paced the Rams with 17 points. Teammates Delaney Haines and Victoria Garand each added 10. Point guard Abi Ramirez scored eight and directed an offense that was more potent in the second half.
Third-seeded Deering (12-7) moves on to the semifinals Tuesday against No. 2 Edward Little (14-4). Sixth-seeded Lewiston is done at 9-10.
Deering beat Edward Little 54-40 in their one meeting on Dec. 15. The Rams also played Lewiston in December, winning 58-42.
But on Thursday, the Devils were primed for an upset. After trailing 7-0, they crashed the boards and found open looks, opening a 25-16 lead.
Lewiston post player Victoria Harris (19 points) was controlling the middle, while the Devils’ guards hit from outside.
“We didn’t play any defense at all,” Murphy said.
And the offense was not much to boast about.
“At the beginning, we were shooting quick, quick, quick,” Titherington said. “We needed to have more rotation with the ball and get them out of their D.”
That strategy began in the closing seconds of the half. Ramirez worked the ball up and saw Titherington.
“I looked at Abi and she looked at me. I knew I could do it. I believed,” she said.
Deering then began the third quarter with a 9-0 run, taking a lead it would not relinquish.
Haines, who missed time in the second quarter with foul trouble, brought defense and fast breaks, while Garand helped inside.
And as the Rams worked for better shots, they also drew fouls. After taking no free throws in the first half, they were 16 for 17 in the second half, led by Titherington’s 9 for 9.
Still, Lewiston stayed around. Harris hit two free throws to pull the Devils to 45-44 with 1:08 left. Titherington hit two free throws, the Devils traveled, and Ramirez made two foul shots, putting Deering up 49-44.
Harris made a 3-point play, but Titherington iced it with two free throws with 24 seconds left.