BRUNSWICK’S AIDAN SACHS (13) defends against York’s Martha McCaddin during a girls high school basketball Class A South semifinal at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Wednesday. Sachs had 11 points as the Dragons captured a 43-35 victory.

BRUNSWICK’S AIDAN SACHS (13) defends against York’s Martha McCaddin during a girls high school basketball Class A South semifinal at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Wednesday. Sachs had 11 points as the Dragons captured a 43-35 victory.

PORTLAND

Before Wednesday’s tip-off of the girls Class A South regional semifinal against York, Brunswick players strolled around Cross Insurance Arena, taking selfies prior to stepping on the court.

BRUNSWICK’S SABRINA ARMSTRONG, left photo, goes up for a shot, while above, Dragon Brooke Barter (24) looks to get past the defense of York’s Morgan Chapman (20). Brunswick won 43-35 and will face Greely on Saturday in Portland.

BRUNSWICK’S SABRINA ARMSTRONG, left photo, goes up for a shot, while above, Dragon Brooke Barter (24) looks to get past the defense of York’s Morgan Chapman (20). Brunswick won 43-35 and will face Greely on Saturday in Portland.

Were the Dragon girls expecting to get here?

The way Brunswick played in dethroning the defending State Class A champ Wildcats, 43-35, this team seemed very much at home on the big stage.

 

 

The Dragons used what got them there, a stifling defensive effort that held York to just 16 second-half points, most of those coming after the game was already decided.

“I felt they were comfortable before they arrived here, mostly because they are such a tight-knit group, 13 girls that know each of them are there for each other,” said Brunswick coach Sam Farrell. “They came out here and attacked from the start.”

“We haven’t made it this far in a really long time, and I was somehow taken aback by this stage at first,” said Brunswick (17-3) guard Sabrina Armstrong, who had six points, six rebounds and two assists in the win. “No one expected us to be here, that we were only going to win six or seven games. It is unbelievable.”

Madeline Suhr provided three key plays in the first quarter. Tied 4-4, Suhr drove to the basket for two points. Then on Brunswick’s next possession she swished a 3- pointer for a 9-4 Dragons lead.

As the first quarter drew to a close with Brunswick on top 11-8, Suhr blocked a York shot, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

“They mentality changed when we started getting up and blocking some of those shots,” said Suhr, who had half of Brunswick’s eight blocked shots.

“We wanted to make their shooters feel like our defenders were there, and I felt York missed some shots that they may normally hit,” said Farrell.

Getting the rebounds

One thing missing from

Brunswick in the first half was offensive rebounds. The Dragons managed just 11 boards overall, two on the offensive glass. York worked hard to get second and even third chances.

“In the first half we weren’t even attacking offensive rebounds like we normally do,” Farrell said. “That is a big thing for us.”

Brunswick dominated the boards in the third quarter, with seven of its 14 rebounds on the offensive glass. The Dragons turned their two-point halftime lead into a 31-24 advantage after three on the strength of four points from Suhr.

“Our coach told us that we weren’t getting in there and rebounding, and York was getting extra chances,” said Armstrong. “We all did a pretty good job of getting in there and getting those rebounds in the second half. We wanted this so bad, and we were going to do whatever it took to win.”

In the fourth, Brunswick’s lead extended out to 15 points, 39-24, as Suhr picked up six more points, while Brooke Barter hit 3-of-4 from the free-throw line.

“When we first walked into the gym, we thought ‘this is crazy.’ We are taking it game by game,” added Suhr, who had 19 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists. Aidan Sachs had 11 tough inside points, along with six caroms and two assists, while Charlotte MacMillan had three steals.

Now comes the next challenge for the Dragons, as Brunswick, the No. 2 seed, faces top-seeded Greely in the regional final on Saturday back at Cross Insurance Arena at 6 p.m. (See story below).

Farrell said nothing will change in the days leading up to Saturday night.

“We will practice the same way that we have practiced this year. We are going to treat it just like another basketball game,” Farrell said.

Brunswick was 15-of-40 from the field (37.5 percent) and made 12-of-20 at the free-throw line. The Dragons forced 17 York turnovers and held a 30-26 edge in rebounding.

Madigan Cogger paced the Wildcats (13-7) with 12 points, while Nina Howe, Reilly Smedley and Delaney Labonte each chipped in six points. Howe and Lily Posternak had three steals apiece.

York shot just 27.1 percent (13-of-48) from the floor.

No. 2 Brunswick 43, No. 3 York 35

Class A South Semifinals At Cross Insurance Arena in Portland

York 8 11 5 11 35
Brunswick — 11 10 10 12 43

York — Nina Howe 3-0-6, Lily Posternak 0-0-0, Madigan Cogger 5- 1-12, Reilly Smedley 2-2-6, Sophia Remick 0-0-0, Morgan Chapman 0-0- 0, Delaney Labonte 2-0-6, Julia Babcock 0-0-0, Martha McCaddin 1-3-5, Hannah Gennaro 0-0-0, Alana Lauersen 0-0-0, Jackie Tabora 0-0-0. Totals — 13-6-35. Brunswick — Charlotte MacMillan 1- 0-2, Aidan Sachs 4-3-11, Sabrina Armstrong 2-2-6, Brooke Barter 0-3- 3, Madeline Suhr 7-4-19, Emily Larochelle 0-0-0, Rian Sachs 1-0-2, Rosalie White 0-0-0. Totals — 15-12- 43. 3-point field goals — (Y) Labonte 2, Cogger; (B) Suhr. Records — Brunswick 17-3; York 13- 7. Up next for the Dragons — Class A South Regional Final against No. 1 Greely on Saturday, 6 p.m. and at Cross Insurance Arena.


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