Thursday February 21, 2013 | 07:31 PM

Lake Region and Greely were two of the best defensive teams in the Western Maine Conference in the regular season. So it's no surprise that their Western Class B girls' basketball semifinal was ugly.

"I felt like I was swimming upstream for the entire game,'' said Lake Region Coach Paul True. "But we knew that's what Greely wanted to do. The difference for us was on the defensive end. I thought we competed on every possession.''

Lake Region defeated Greely 42-27 to advance to its second consecutive regional final. The Lakers will play York at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Only three players scored for Greely: freshman Margaret Hatch (10 points), sophomore Ashley Storey (nine) and senior Jaclyn Storey (eight).

Lake Region's defense was geared toward containing the Storeys.

"We spent a lot of time paying attention to them,'' said True. "But we didn't want somebody else to step up and be a factor, and I thought our kids did a good job with that.''

Under True, the Lakers have always prided themselves on their defense.

"The bottom line is, if we play solid defensively for 32 minutes and are holding teams under 30 points, then I like our chances," said True.

GREELY, MEANWHILE, should be back in contention next year.

In Ashley Storey, the Rangers will have one of the top returning players in the Western Maine Conference. And Hatch showed her mettle against the Lakers. She wasn't afraid to take shots, and she hit two jumpers in the fourth quarter to keep the Rangers within striking distance before Lake Region pulled away.

"She was one of the freshmen we keyed on,'' said Coach Joel Rogers. "As I said after the Leavitt game (in the quarterfinals), she's our best defensive guard. And she's got a really nice jump shot, which you saw today.

"She's going to be a real prominent player in this conference.''

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VarsityMaine The Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram put a priority on high school sports coverage, and this blog is a place for all our reporters to put news and notes from around the state.

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Maine High School Sports Bloggers

Tom Chard is a Portland native who has covered high school sports and golf for the Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram for 38 years. A three-sport athlete at Deering High, Tom's chief athletic pursuit is chasing the little white ball. He played in his 20th Maine Amateur Golf Championship in July.

Glenn Jordan came to Maine in 1994 to cover the nascent Portland Sea Dogs. After eight baseball seasons and three children – the last two within 18 minutes of each other – he became a part-time writer. Among the sports he covers are now are tennis, skiing, swimming and running. He has a degree in philosophy from Dartmouth, a decent forehand and a penchant for checkers.

Mike Lowe is a Massachusetts native who feels he's lived long enough in Maine (since 1982) to have roots here. He graduated from Boston University and has worked in New Hampshire and Maine, covering everything from the Little League World Series to the Olympics. When he has free time – Ha! – he likes to read, collect comic books and watch the grass grow from his hammock.

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