AUGUSTA — The Waynflete girls’ basketball team has had more than its share of injuries this season, and the Flyers still aren’t anywhere close to full strength.

That only served to make their Western Class C quarterfinal victory Tuesday over Madison even more meaningful that it might have been under normal circumstances. Seventh-seeded Waynflete scored the first six points, and never led by less than nine points in the second half on the way to a 56-39 win over the second-seeded Bulldogs at the Augusta Civic Center.

Waynflete (13-7) moves on to face No. 3 Boothbay in the semifinals on Thursday. The Flyers were actually quite short-handed, as three players were in dress clothes and Catherine Veroneau, trying to come back from a knee injury, played limited minutes.

“We’ve got four kids that were in our top eight that are out for the year,” Waynflete Coach Brandon Salway said. “So to get to the semis is a huge accomplishment for this group.”

Madison (15-4) did a nice job defensively on Waynflete star Martha Veroneau, who didn’t make a field goal after the first quarter. But Veroneau still finished with 20 points on 14-of-16 foul shooting, and 5-foot-6 junior guard Rhiannan Jackson had 22 points and 12 rebounds.

“We’ve felt really down for a while about how many injuries we’ve had,” Jackson said. “Since we got some people back, it just feels really good. We’re more united as a team.”

Waynflete, which hit seven 3-pointers in the game, led 6-0 right away on 3s by Jackson and Veroneau. Madison did not score six straight points the entire game.

“We got off to a great start, which is key in here, I think,” Salway said. “Anytime you hit your first few shots, I think the kids are able to relax.”

Waynflete led 13-8 after one quarter and pushed their advantage to 27-14 at halftime.

Sam Bruce had 10 first-half points for Madison and finished with 19. But the Bulldogs were 15 for 60 (25 percent) from the floor, and did not pass as well as they usually do.

“We hustled on defense. We worked hard. I thought every aspect of that was there,” Madison Coach Al Veneziano said. “We really did want it. Everything seemed to fall for them. For us, the ball just didn’t roll.”

Early in the third quarter, Cristie Vicneire drilled a 3-pointer for Madison. But that was immediately followed by Veroneau dribbling the length of the floor and passing to Jackson, who made a layup and was fouled for a three-point play.

The closest the Bulldogs got in the second half was 48-39 when Bruce hit a 3-pointer with 1:08 left. But Waynflete put the game away at the line, making 25 of 37 free throws.

“We spend a lot of time practicing them,” Salway said. “Close games, it’s going to come down to layups and foul shots most times.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243
[email protected]


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