AUGUSTA — Third-seeded Monmouth Academy rode a record-setting performance at the free-throw line to the Class C South girls’ basketball championship at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday night.

The Mustangs sank 30 of 38 foul shots to roll to a 65-25 win over No. 4 Old Orchard Beach in their first trip to the Class C regional final. They had won Western Class D titles in 1991, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Monmouth Academy will play North champion Dexter for the state championship Saturday at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

“This is great,” said Monmouth Academy guard Tia Day, who received the Robin Colcord Award as the Class C South tournament’s most valuable player. “It’s great, especially with this group of girls. We are such great friends, (and) so many of us have put in so much extra work.”

The Mustangs sank 25 of 32 free throws during the first three quarters to open a 50-20 lead. Monmouth sank 5 of 6 free throws in the fourth quarter to eclipse the tournament’s record of 28 made free throws set by Hall-Dale in 1981.

“We’ve been doing a lot of competition in free throws,” Day said. “Free throws are very important to us.”

Abbey Allen led Monmouth with 17 points. Julia Johnson, a sophomore reserve followed with 12 points. Hannah Anderson added 11 points. Day scored 10 points.

Emily Greenlee led the Seagulls (12-8) with nine points.

Monmouth Academy held a 27-14 lead at the end of the first half.

The Mustangs got off to a great start, pulling into an 8-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.

It took the Seagulls a while to leave the starting gate. They missed all eight of their shots and committed eight turnovers during the first quarter.

“We had no flow,” Old Orchard Beach Coach Dean Plante said.

“We got into foul trouble early. We were apparently overly aggressive, I don’t know.”

Monmouth Academy (18-3) sank only two of its 13 shots during the first quarter, but it sank 5 of 8 free throws to build an early 10-2 lead.

Old Orchard Beach got untracked offensively in the second quarter. The Seagulls opened with an 8-2 run, moving to within a point of the Mustangs when Samantha Donnell hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 12-11 with 3:25 left in the first half.

The Mustangs finished the first half with a 13-4 run, sinking 7 of 8 free throws in the process to move back into a comfortable lead.

“We got out of our flow early and never got into sync,” Plante said. “We couldn’t use (the) combinations we wanted to because we were in foul trouble.”

Monmouth took a 30-point lead at the end of the third quarter by outscoring Old Orchard, 23-6. The Mustangs made 11 of 13 free throws in the third.

“Hats off to Monmouth,” Plante said. “They were the better team tonight.”

With 1:59 left in the game, Johnson, a sophomore reserve, sank two free throws to set the tournament record for made free throws. She sank all 10 of her free throws.

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