AUGUSTA — Last February, Faith Blethen was trying to lead Boothbay to a basketball championship despite a case of pneumonia that essentially left her with one functioning lung.

This year, she had her health, and also plenty of help from another 6-footer – sophomore sister Glory Blethen.

Together, the Blethen sisters dominated the paint as the top-seeded Seahawks remained perfect with a 49-31 victory over No. 3 North Yarmouth Academy in the Class C South championship game Saturday night at the Augusta Civic Center.

“It’s a lot more fun with two lungs,” said Faith, who led all scorers with 13 points. “I’m not turning purple and all that good stuff.”

The Seahawks (21-0) advance to the state final for the second time in four years, having lost to Narraguagus in 2016. They’ll face Penobscot Valley (18-4) on Saturday in Bangor.

NYA (16-5) was seeking its first regional title since 1982.

Serena Mower and Catherine Reid each scored 10 points for NYA, which opened a 5-0 lead on two baskets by Maggie Larson but had difficulty containing Boothbay’s twin towers. Faith is a 6-foot-1 senior with a full scholarship awaiting at George Washington. Glory is 6-2.

In one sequence in the third quarter, the Blethen sisters grabbed three consecutive offensive rebounds before Glory finally converted. She finished with 11 points.

“And they’re athletic,” said NYA Coach Tom Robinson. “They’re not slow.”

The Seahawks took the lead for good when Faith Blethen hit a running 3-pointer as the first-quarter horn sounded to make it 14-12. Boothbay added another buzzer-beater at the end of the half, a 15-foot bank shot by Chloe Arsenault to make it 26-18.

“You almost had a feeling this might not be our night,” said Robinson.

Still, the Panthers made Boothbay work for each basket, packing a 2-3 zone defense with Mower in the middle.

“That definitely slowed Faith down,” Boothbay Coach Brian Blethen said. “(Mower) did a nice job with that. It really forced us to work our offense.”

With Arsenault at the point and the Blethen sisters keeping the ball over the reach of smaller defenders, NYA didn’t force as many turnovers as in earlier playoff games. Absent its transition game, the NYA offense bogged down.

“Our defense led to our offense all season, and that got taken away,” Robinson said. “Then, any set play we ran, we’d get into the paint (but) there would be the second (6-footer) waiting for you.”

Arsenault finished with 11 points, and Ashley Abbott added nine, all on 3-pointers.

NYA made one last run early in the third quarter and pulled within 26-23 on five quick points by Reid, but Glory Blethen sparked a 14-2 response as Boothbay pulled away.

“I thought our girls kept great composure,” Brian Blethen said.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

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Twitter: GlennJordanPPH


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