AUGUSTA — A new champion will be crowned in Class C girls’ basketball.

After back-to-back championship seasons, Monmouth fell 52-35 to North Yarmouth Academy in the Class C South quarterfinals Tuesday at the Augusta Civic Center.

The third-seeded Panthers (15-4) move on to the semifinals to play No. 2 Winthrop on Wednesday.

A strong zone defense by NYA made post play nearly impossible for the Mustangs, who instead focused on perimeter shooting. Monmouth made 6 of 27 3-pointers.

NYA took advantage of the shooting struggles with quick transition baskets, led by senior guard Catherine Reid.

Reid – who formerly played at the Maine Girls’ Academy in Portland and transferred to NYA after the school closed last year – had a game-high 27 points.

“Once we settled in and the nerves were gone, I think we realized we could (win),” Reid said. “This gives us confidence.”

Monmouth jumped out to an 11-4 first-quarter lead with 3-pointers by Julia Johnson and Kaeti Butterfield. But NYA went on a 12-0 run in the final five minutes of the half – led by 12 points from Reid – and entered halftime with a 24-15 lead.

“It was a rough start,” NYA Coach Thomas Robinson said. “Started in (man-to-man defense) and then quickly switched to zone. It worked out well, we got a lot of transition baskets out of it.”

Reid scored another eight points in the third quarter. Monmouth – which only scored four points in the second quarter – continued to struggle with just six points in the third.

The sixth-seeded Mustangs end their season with a record of 14-5 after adding Coach Rick Larrabee near the beginning of the regular season after the school dismissed Scott Wing in November.

“I’m very proud (of the team),” Larrabee said. “We had a very tough preseason, a very tough first four games of the season, we started the season out 1-3. People didn’t think we were going to be as successful as we were.”

The Mustangs fought back in the fourth quarter, outscoring NYA 13-10, but the Panthers’ lead was too much to overcome.

“Were were trying to just man up, and play man-to-man, like in any other game,” Butterfield said. “We couldn’t do anything specific, because we had never seen them before. We definitely knew we had some advantages over them as far as playoff experience – none of them had played on this floor before. … I think we just didn’t capitalize on the things that we should have. We let them get away and we started to give up a little bit. Overall, I think we did well to prepare for them, I just don’t think we executed it well.”

Abby Ferland led Monmouth with 12 points. Johnson added nine. Maggie Larson and Serena Mower each added eight points for NYA.


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