AUGUSTA – Top-seeded Hall-Dale fought off upset-minded Waynflete to capture its second consecutive Western Class C girls’ basketball championship Saturday night.

Carylanne Wolfington scored 13 of her 16 points in the second half as the defending state champions pulled out a 43-36 win over the seventh-seeded Flyers at the Augusta Civic Center.

The Bulldogs will play Central for the state title Saturday in Augusta.

Waynflete, making its third appearance in the regional final in five years, was trying to pull off its third upset of the tournament.

“I’m really proud of my kids to win two playoff games, but to try to win three playoff games in five days was pretty tough,” Waynflete Coach Brandon Salway said.

Wolfington, who scored her 1,000th career point in the quarterfinals, and Martha Veroneau, who scored a tournament-record 47 points in the semifinals, canceled each other out. Both finished with 16 points.

“Those are two of the best female athletes, certainly in Class C, and it was pretty impressive to see them go at each other,” Hall-Dale Coach Brandon Terrill said.

Veroneau received the Robin Colcord Award as the tournament’s outstanding player.

Early on, players from both teams picked up the slack for their scoring leaders. Hall-Dale got big contributions from Allison Crockett (11 points) and Kristina Buck (eight). Leigh Fernandez and Helen Gray-Bauer each scored nine points for Waynflete.

“It says they are great role players and they know their roles within their schemes,” Terrill said. “I thought all players on the court tonight played with no fear.”

Hall-Dale (18-3) appeared to have the title wrapped up when it started the second half with an 11-0 run to move into a 30-18 lead.

“I didn’t think that for a second,” Terrill said. “The way Waynflete can shoot the 3-ball, I knew they were not going to be out of it, that they were going to make a run.”

Veroneau, who was limited to three points in the first half, sandwiched two 3-pointers around a hoop by Gray-Bauer as the Flyers closed within 30-26 with 45 seconds left in the third quarter.

Waynflete (13-8) got even closer. With 3:50 remaining, Veroneau sank her fourth 3-pointer to make it 37-36.

But Hall-Dale (18-3) closed it out. Wolfington converted a missed free throw into a layup with 45 seconds left, starting a game-ending 6-0 run.

“We couldn’t rest on our lead,” Terrill said. “We had to get out and defend the 3-point line and lo and behold, they made a run at it, and we were able to fight them off.”

The Flyers jumped out to a 15-10 lead in the first quarter when Fernandez sank three 3-pointers.

But the Bulldogs limited Waynflete to a basket by Veroneau during the second quarter and took a 19-18 lead. During one stretch, the Flyers went more than seven minutes without a point.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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