WESTBROOK — Why does the Bonny Eagle High girls’ basketball team have to buy into a hard-nosed, defense-first persona?

“OK, we don’t have a lot of size,” senior guard Cassidy Emery said. “We’re going to have to play with our feet and our hearts and play the defense that we know we can and hopefully get the steals that we can off of that.”

Emery came up with one of the game’s biggest steals and an ensuing layup on the inbound pass to start the fourth quarter. That gave the Scots a four-point lead and began a 13-5 fourth-quarter surge that secured a 39-29 win Monday at rival Westbrook.

“I was kind of right there at the right time, and luckily I was able to get a hand in there,” Emery said. “Try to get something else going, you know what I mean, try to get a spark.”

Class AA Bonny Eagle evened its record at 1-1. The Scots had opened with a 35-32 loss at home against Thornton Academy.

“We’ve been really focusing on defense in this preseason,” Bonny Eagle Coach Scott Regan said. “We gave up nine field goals the whole game. Defensively I’m pretty pleased with that.”

Bonny Eagle did a good job of containing Alisha Aube, the leading returning scorer in the SMAA. Natalie Bushey and Bethany Ashley shared defensive duties against Aube, who finished with 14 points, but had limited looks from behind the 3-point line and only went to the foul line four times.

“She’s a great player. To shut her down to 14 is a great accomplishment and takes a lot of work,” Regan said.

Westbrook fell to 0-2. The Blue Blazes are in Class A South in the new five-team classification scheme but have played two AA schools, including preseason favorite Gorham.

In both games Westbrook was plagued by turnovers. They committed 29 against Bonny Eagle.

“We’re playing with some inexperienced kids,” Westbrook Coach Chris Aube said. “We have three freshmen who play significant minutes and we’re going to have a fourth when she’s healthy. We just have to find a couple other kids who are comfortable handling the basketball, but we’re not there yet.”

For all its offensive inefficiencies, Westbrook hung in the game and late in the third quarter got some diversity in its scoring during an 8-0 run that tied the game at 22.

Madi Mullett, freshmen Avery Tucker and Mikayla Van Zandt (6 points), and Aube each scored a pair in the run.

The Blue Blazes were still in striking distance, down 30-28 when Aube drove into the lane midway through the fourth quarter and hit the deck hard, but did not get a foul call.

Bonny Eagle snared the rebound and raced in the other direction, resulting in Megan McIntosh’s being fouled. McIntosh made one and missed the second, with Bonny Eagle’s Mia Ferrante snaring the offensive rebound.

The ball eventually wound up in Emery’s hands, and she knocked down a corner 3-pointer after a drive and pass from her sister, freshman Mackenzie Emery, for a 34-28 lead.

Mackenzie Emery led Bonny Eagle with 10 points and displayed solid ball handling and decision making down the stretch.