Wow. Just, wow.

Down 14 points early in the third period, Brunswick High dug in defensively and rode the all-around brilliance of Madeline Suhr to a stunning 54-51 upset of top-ranked Greely in the Class A South girls’ basketball championship game Saturday night at Cross Insurance Arena.

Suhr scored 22 points, hitting all eight of her shots – including five 3-pointers – and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the second-ranked Dragons to their first state-final appearance.

Her three-point play with 1:12 left gave Brunswick a 50-48 lead it wouldn’t lose.

“She’s amazing,” said Brooke Barter of the Dragons. “She, honestly, connects the team in a way that I didn’t think possible. She carries the team. She inspires us.”

Brunswick (18-3), which lost to Greely 61-46 in the regular season, will play Messalonskee (21-0) in the state championship game at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Greely (19-2) started slow but gained control in the second quarter, limiting the Dragons to two points. When Isabel Porter (19 points) hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game with 6:20 left in the third, the Rangers led 31-17.

“For a second we were a little worried,” said Suhr, named the tournament’s outstanding player. “But the defense kept turning the ball over to the offense and that turned into points. We got up there pretty fast.”

“Team defense. We contested their shots and got back to playing Brunswick basketball,” said Coach Sam Farrell. “Do what we do in practice. I don’t care who we play.”

The deficit was down to 36-32 entering the fourth after Barter put in her own offensive rebound. Greely pushed the lead to six twice, but each time the Dragons responded. The lead changed five times in the last three minutes, with Barter (eight of her 14 points in the fourth) and Suhr leading Brunswick’s charge while Anna DeWolfe (11 of her 16 points in the fourth) paced Greely.

The Rangers took their last lead with 1:51 left on a 12-foot leaner from the right by freshman Brooke Obar. The Dragons turned the ball over but following a timeout, Suhr made a steal. She came down the court, converted a layup and was fouled. Suhr missed her four previous foul shots but this time was pure with the shot and Brunswick led 50-48 with 1:12 left.

“I was definitely telling myself not to miss it,” said Suhr. “I knew that was a very important free throw.”

DeWolfe came down and hit one foul shot but missed the second with Suhr rebounding. Both teams traded turnovers before Sabrina Armstrong hit two foul shots with 14.5 seconds left to make it 52-49. DeWolfe hit two foul shots with 10.9 seconds left but the Dragons broke the press, leading to two foul shots by Barter with 3.3 seconds remaining to clinch it.

“We didn’t execute and make some shots we typically make,” said Rangers Coach Todd Flaherty. “And they made a lot of shots … They hit shots when they had to. Give credit to them.”

Brunswick won despite 27 turnovers. But the Rangers only scored 11 points off those turnovers and Brunswick scored 18 points off 19 Greely turnovers.

“I still can’t believe we won that game,” said Barter. “It’s incredible.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH