At halftime of Tuesday’s Class B South girls’ basketball quarterfinal between Gray-New Gloucester and Spruce Mountain, it didn’t really look like a matchup between the No. 1 and No. 8 seeds.

The top-ranked Patriots had a narrow five-point lead, but Haley Turcotte seemed to give Spruce Mountain all the momentum with a 3-pointer at the buzzer, her fourth of the half.

“Haley Turcotte came out, and she was on fire,” said Gray-New Gloucester Coach Mike Andreasen. “Our offense wasn’t clicking so well either. … It just seemed to be one of those days. Luckily, we dug down when we needed to.”

It’s not supposed to be this difficult for the top-ranked team, but after a back-and-forth first half the Patriots (15-4) came alive in the third quarter, outscoring the Phoenix 13-6 on their way to a 49-34 victory at the Portland Expo.

They will face No. 4 Lake Region in the regional semifinals.

Turcotte finished with 24 points, including six 3-pointers, to account for all but 10 of the Spruce Mountain’s points. The Phoenix ended their season 10-10.

“When she gets hot like that, she doesn’t even think about it,” Spruce Mountain Coach Zachary Keene said. “She just lets it go like there’s nobody else in the gym.”

Brianna Jordan led the Patriots with 22 points, including four 3-pointers, and Jordan Grant contributed 14 points.

Despite Gray-New Gloucester’s size advantage, the Phoenix were scrappy under the basket. They fought for rebounds and successfully limited the Patriots’ scoring opportunities.

Bri Jordan, center, of Gray New-Gloucester, leaps for a rebound during the first half of Tuesday’s game against Spruce Mountain at the Portland Expo. Jordan scored 22 points to lead the top-ranked Patriots, who will play No. 4 Lake Region in the semifinals. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

“We wanted to limit them to one shot as much as possible, so we battled and did a good job of that the entire first half,” Keene said. “That’s kind of what kept us in it.”

The Patriots jumped out to a 12-5 lead five minutes into the game before a Turcotte 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter pulled the Phoenix within four points.

Turcotte opened the second quarter with another 3-pointer that cut Gray-New Gloucester’s lead to 12-11, but Jordan answered back with a 3-pointer of her own for the Patriots. Spruce Mountain stayed within striking distance for the next six minutes before another Jordan 3-pointer with 1:30 left gave Gray-New Gloucester a 21-15 lead.

Grant added a field goal with less than a minute left before Turcotte’s buzzer-beater 3-pointer cut Gray-New Gloucester’s lead to 23-18 entering halftime.

“We knew that we needed to pick up the pace,” Grant said. “We just came out with a lot of energy.”

That five-point lead turned into a 15-point advantage late in the third quarter, with Grant, Jordan, Mikaela Ryan and Eliza Hotham all contributing points.

“I didn’t think it was a super big threat at that point – we kind of kept them at arm’s length,” Andreasen said. “Although with Turcotte on the (court), you don’t know how safe you could possibly be.”

With less than a minute and a half left in the third, Turcotte connected on her fifth 3-pointer to make it 36-24. The Patriots continued to pull away, outscoring the Phoenix 13-10 in the fourth quarter.

“Those Spruce Mountain kids were fighting and clawing for everything,” Andreasen said. “Thank goodness we were able to pull it out.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or

[email protected]

Twitter: TaylorVortherms