Edward Little players dribbled around the top of the key as teammates broke to the basket, looking for a pass.

Grace Fontaine made a cut but was covered. Chantel Ouellette sliced through the lane, and teammate Jade Perry found her for the layup.

One of many layups.

The third-seeded Red Eddies were relentless with their drives on the way to a 58-38 rout of No. 2 Portland in a Class AA North girls’ basketball semifinal Wednesday afternoon at Cross Insurance Arena.

Edward Little led by 10 at halftime and by 20 after the third quarter.

“We kept running and running and running,” said Fontaine, who led the Eddies with 16 points.

Ouellette scored 15 points, Hannah Chaput added 12 and Piper Norcross had nine.

Amanda Kabantu scored 15 points for Portland.

The Red Eddies (13-7) advance to Friday’s regional final against No. 1 Oxford Hills.

Portland is done at 13-7.

“We’re feast or famine,” Portland Coach Gerry Corcoran said. “And we weren’t on today.”

Portland shot only 27 percent through the first three quarters, including 3 for 14 in the first.

“When that happens to us, we’re young … the confidence goes,” Corcoran said. “We try to force too much and then we’re taking bad shots.”

Meanwhile, the Eddies were not missing often. All their field goals in the first half came in the paint.

“We really tried to get back to fundamentals, about what our offense wanted to look like,” Edward Little Coach Chris Cifelli said. “We really wanted to emphasize trying to get multiple cutters at times, find some openings, and get high-percentage shots.”

It worked.

“They just executed to perfection,” Corcoran said. “It’s a credit to them. They played harder and made all the plays.”

This was a switch from the regular-season meeting, a 57-42 Portland win on Jan. 6. Granted, the Bulldogs did not have stellar guard/forward Gemima Motema (broken foot) this time. But the Eddies also learned from that loss.

“Admittedly, them losing Motema makes a big difference. She’s an excellent, excellent player,” Cifelli said.

“But, I think, we also came in – having seen their pressure – we were a little bit more ready for that; a little more prepared, both in the full and the half court.

“They change defenses on us a lot. We wanted to make sure we had plans for what he was going to throw at us.”

Fontaine hit her first of two 3-pointers early in the second half, but Portland scored three quick baskets – including two jumpers from Shayla Eubanks – to close to within 30-23.

Then the Eddies broke it open with a 15-0 run.

“That blew us out,” said Corcoran, who is in his first full season as Portland’s coach. The Bulldogs finished 3-15 last year. He has seven of his top eight players back for next season.

“We’re such a young program. The future is bright,” he said.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

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