Saturday, March 8, 2014
By Paul Betit
Special to the Press Herald
Sixth-seeded Cheverus had just too much for 11th-seeded Bonny Eagle to handle in their Western Class A girls basketball prelim Wednesday night.
The Stags rode a suffocating defense and balanced scoring to a 74-27 win against the Scots at Keegan Gym.
Cheverus (14-5) will play No. 3 South Portland (15-3) in a regional quarterfinal at 2 p.m. Monday at the Portland Expo.
“We played well,” Cheverus Coach Richie Ashley said. “We came out and we played hard. We played physical, and we moved the ball well. We didn’t focus on just one player today. It was a team effort.”
Jessica Willerson led the Stags with 22 points, but she got plenty of help.
Laura Holman, a reserve forward, followed with 21 points, and Jillian Libby, the first guard off the bench in the first quarter, scored 18 points.
“Normally, we’re very centric on one player,” Ashley said. “In this game, we moved the ball and everybody got involved.”
Libby hit two 3-pointers while scoring 10 points in a little more than four minutes of play to help send the Stags to a 20-3 lead in the first quarter.
“Our zone has been the best defense, but they just beat us right away with quick ball reversals,” Bonny Eagle Coach Suzanne Rondeau said. “They’re bigger inside and they move the ball quick. When we didn’t score right away and they were putting it in, we had to come out of what we do best.”
The Stags hit 15 of their 25 shots in the first half to move into a 37-9 lead.
Forced to shoot from the perimeter, Bonny Eagle (6-13) made only 9 of 43 shots.
Cassidy Emery made three 3-pointers for a team-high nine points.
South Portland beat the Stags twice during the regular season.
“We got killed (at home),” Ashley said. They beat us pretty good here, and we played them to three points over there.”
On Jan. 17, South Portland won 72-56 in Keegan Gym. On Feb. 4, the Riots won 49-46 in South Portland.