SACO — The Scarborough High girls’ basketball team knows only one way to play the game: fast.

Tuesday night, the Red Storm shifted into high gear early and never let up.

Mary Redmond scored 21 points and the defense forced 26 turnovers as the Red Storm blew past Thornton Academy 47-29 at Linnell Gymnasium.

The faster Scarborough players forced Thornton’s taller players to try to keep up, and the Trojans simply couldn’t.

“We like to play fast so hopefully they can’t keep up with us,” said Scarborough guard Maria Philbrick, who added 11 points. “We don’t have much height so we have to use our quickness.”

It was the second time this season that fourth-ranked Scarborough (14-3) had beaten Thornton Academy (10-7), winning 52-26 on Jan. 4.

“I thought we dictated the game,” said Red Storm Coach Ron Cote. “We played to our tempo, not theirs.”

It started quickly, when Scarborough opened a 7-0 lead, and never stopped. The Trojans, who settled down early in the second quarter, got within 15-12 on back-to-back offensive rebound baskets by 6-foot-1 center Lauren Leskowsky, but Scarborough’s defense didn’t allow a point over the final 4:34 of the second quarter.

That allowed the Red Storm to take a 20-12 halftime lead.

Then Scarborough slowly pulled away. A 3-pointer by Taylor LeBorgne, another by Redmond and a three-point play off an offensive rebound by 5-foot-5 Maria Philbrick made it 31-16 late in the third.

Redmond scored 11 points in the fourth, hitting a pair of long 3-pointers to pace Scarborough to its fifth consecutive win.

“She got rolling and hit some big shots for us,” said Cote, of Redmond. “And she can do that.”

Redmond credited her teammates for getting her the ball in the right spot.

And, she added, it was Scarborough’s frenetic defense that set the tone.

“We play with high intensity and we don’t give up,” she said. “It’s fun when we play fast.

“We can’t play slow because we’re short and it wouldn’t work.”

Thornton wanted very much to slow the ball. And the Trojans’ 2-3 zone defense did that at times, making the Red Storm work the ball around the perimeter. That’s when the Trojans got close in the second quarter.

But Scarborough’s defense was simply too fast and too tough for the Trojans’ offense.

“They beat us in every facet of the game,” said Trojans Coach Eric Marston. “I think the most disappointing thing for us is that they outhustled us. They won every 50-50 ball. They got every rebound. We went after the ball with one hand; they went after the ball with two hands, aggressively.

“We didn’t exploit them where we thought they were weak and they exploited every one of our weaknesses.

“Every time we had a chance to make a run, we turned the ball over,” he continued. “We didn’t play smart at all. I thought we played hard at times but every time we had a chance to make a run, we turned it over and gave them all the momentum. Every single time.”

That, said Cote, is by design.

“We try to get the other team to play faster than they want,” he said.

“And then hopefully they’ll turn it over.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH