RICHMOND — In a game bereft of offensive flow, a second-half surge was all it needed.

No. 10 Madison used a 14-2 run over the final 4:18 of the third quarter to post a 44-26 win over No. 7 Richmond in a Class C South girls basketball prelim Tuesday night. Mackenzie Robbins and Arabel Linkletter accounted for 10 of the 14 Bulldog points in the run, including a 3-pointer from each.

Linkletter finished with nine points, while Robbins ended the night with seven, all but two of their 16 points coming in the second half.

“Our shots started falling once we worked as a team and started moving the ball,” Linkletter said. “Once we get into the third and fourth quarters, we gain our confidence. We start off a little rough — we’re nervous, we’re excited — but once the nerves go away, we’re all set.”

Richmond (10-6) got as close as 20-18 less than three minutes into the third quarter when Lila Viselli hit a 3-pointer from the right side, but the Bobcats would get no closer.

By the time the fourth quarter began, the Bulldogs had raced out to a 34-20 advantage.


Linkletter touched off the game-changing stretch with her short jumper, and the Bulldogs were off and running to next week’s regional quarterfinals at the Augusta Civic Center.

Senior Hailey Paquet led Madison (11-8) with a double-double, finishing with a team-high 10 points and 10 rebounds. Ali Griffeth added 10 more points.

The Bulldog defense forced a senior-less Richmond squad into 31 turnovers for the night. Many of those were result of full-court pressure and relentless ball-hounding from Madison, including half-court violations, five-second violations, traveling and double-dribble calls.

“Our defense is all about get the ball, get the ball, get the balll,” said Griffeth, a sophomore. “We knew their guards were (inexperienced) and we wanted to get in their heads and get to the ball — pressure them, pressure them, pressure them.

Richmond’s Breonna Dufresne, left, and Madiso’s Ali Griffeth dive for the ball during a Class C South preliminary girls basketball game Tuesday in Richmond. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

“We’re very deep. We’re a very young team, but we’re very deep. It’s a lot of underclassmen wanting to get in there and play.”

Richmond sophomore Izzy Stewart scored 10 points.


“They were just starting to make shots, and we were starting to get worn down,” Richmond coach Mike Ladner said of the second half.

Where Madison went 12 deep with its roster, Ladner only used three players off his bench. The Bobcats didn’t help matters by going 0 for 8 from the free throw line in the first half.

“I think if we make a few of those, we don’t have as big a hole to climb out of,” Ladner said. “Maybe it changes the momentum.”

Richmond’s Izzy Stewart, right, blocks a shot by Madison’s Ali Griffeth during a Class C South preliminary girls basketball game Tuesday in Richmond. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

“You’ve just got to come out and work hard, and keep working hard (in the playoffs),” Madison coach Al Veneziano said. “We had to get to the basket, get to the paint and get some shots there. We needed to get some inside-outside to see if we could generate some open shots.”

The game was tight at the end of the first and second quarters, despite Madison twice appearing poised to run away and hide prior to halftime.

The Bulldogs found themselves piling up fouls in the first period, putting the Bobcats into the bonus before the quarter was over. Still, a quick start and defensive pressure staked the visitors out to an 8-6 lead after one.

A 12-4 run to begin the second helped Madison double its lead to 20-10 en route to a six-point halftime lead (20-14), but Richmond started to assert its size advantage in the post to rally prior to the break.

Kara Briand and Stewart accounted for six of the Bobcats’ eight second-quarter points, and their work down low low at both ends of the floor turned into second-chance opportunities on the offensive end while limiting Madison to just one offensive rebound over the final six-plus minutes of the first half.

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