PORTLAND — The York girls’ basketball team found out first hand Thursday just how improved Wells has become since their two regular-season meetings.

The second-seeded Wildcats needed a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the No. 11 Warriors 40-38 in a Western Class B semifinal at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

As Wells Coach Don Abbott said: “They made one more play than we did.”

York (18-2) trailed much of the game and was down 38-34 midway through the fourth quarter before pulling into a tie.

With 6.2 seconds left, Ruby Cribby of York got free underneath on an out-of-bounds play and was fouled while shooting. She made both free throws to break the tie and give the Wildcats a berth in the regional final at 2 p.m. Saturday against No. 1 Lake Region (18-2).

Wells (9-12) had one last chance to win or force overtime. The Warriors went the length of the court with two well-executed passes, and Nicole Moody was fouled while attempting a layup with 1.9 seconds left.

Moody’s free throw was a little strong. That forced her to miss the second shot intentionally. Sophie Lamb of Wells got the rebound, but her shot was blocked as the horn sounded.

“It almost worked,” Moody said of the last play. “I wish it had.”

Cribby’s alertness on York’s final out-of-bounds play led to the winning free throws.

“Wells was overplaying to one side,” said Cribby. “I saw the lane. Thankfully, Shannon (Todd) saw me and passed me the ball.

“I was excited to shoot the free throws. I have confidence in myself.”

After falling behind 7-2, York was in an uphill fight the whole game. If not for a scoring burst at the end of the first half, the Wildcats could have been in real trouble. They closed the half with a 13-4 spurt to take a 20-19 lead. Cribby had the first seven York points during the surge and Todd, a freshman, added two 3-pointers.

There were five lead changes in the third quarter. Sydney LaChapelle hit a 3-pointer to give the Warriors a 29-28 lead heading into the fourth.

After getting off to a slow start, Wells found its stride late in the season. The Warriors beat Gray-New Gloucester in a preliminary-round game, then knocked off the No. 3 seed, previously unbeaten Spruce Mountain, in the quarterfinals to get a chance to play at the Civic Center for the first time in program history.

“That’s a good team,” said Clark. “They played the way everyone expected them to play when the season started. And they have no seniors. We’ll have to knock heads with them next season without our seniors. It will be challenging.”

Cribby and Todd paced York with 13 points apiece. Alison Furness led Wells with 15. 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

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