Rangeley’s Emily Eastlack, left, dives for the ball with Seacoast Christian’s Breckyn Winship during a Class D South girls’ basketball semifinal Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — A tough triple threat sent Seacoast Christian to the Class D South girls’ basketball final Thursday.

Ellie Leech, Breckyn Winship and Kaitlyn Jandreau combined for 42 points as the third-seeded Guardians handled No. 2 Rangeley, 47-35, in a regional semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center.

Seacoast (12-6) will face fourth-seeded Forest Hills for the Class D South title Saturday afternoon. Forest Hills upset No. 1 Valley, 34-29, in the other semifinal Thursday.

The Guardians’ fast-break attack and tenacious rebounding shut down the Lakers (11-4) and contained scoring aces Winnie LaRochelle, who still finished with a game-high 18 points, and Emily Eastlack (six points). The Rangeley tandem combined for 55 points in a 59-42 quarterfinal win Monday over Temple Academy.

“Seacoast didn’t do anything we didn’t prepare for,” Rangeley Coach Brittany DiPompo Russell said. “They played their same defense and they executed their fast break like they’re known for.

“We don’t play them in the regular season and we haven’t for a while, so you always have to step up for those games you’re not prepared for.”


Abi Madrid, left, of Seacoast Christian is guarded by Rangeley’s Kaitlyn Jandreau during Seacoast’s 47-35 win Thursday in Augusta. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

Leech, who scored 17 points, gets the ball to the rim and makes things happen, said Seacoast Coach Lee Petrie, who also noted that Winship (15 points) adds a physical presence down low and Jandreau (10 points) delivers a soft shot. Together, they gave Rangeley plenty of headaches.

“Those three work pretty hard. They play well off each other,” Petrie said.

Seacoast led 13-11 after one quarter and extended the margin to 26-17 at the half, as Winship scored 10 points in the second quarter. With 4:36 left in the half, Winship stole the ball and charged down court for a layup. Just 36 seconds, she caught a perfect long pass from Leech for another layup.

Leela Hilton, who scored five points, added some tough rebounding to kick-start the Guardians’ surge.

It really starts with the rebounding,” Petrie said. “You can’t do anything (without it). Leela Hilton probably won’t appear in anybody’s boxscore, but she did a great job on LaRochelle, keeping her off the glass on every shot. If you can neutralize anyone like her, that’s a great job.”

Rangeley’s Emily Eastlack, left, and Isabelle Whittier converge on Seacoast Christian’s Breckyn Winship. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

Rangeley cut the deficit to 30-27 late in the third, but a Winship basket and a pair of Jandreau free throws gave Seacoast some breathing room. A 7-0 Guardians run in the fourth sealed the victory.

Rangeley did not take an easy road to the semifinals; the Lakers suited up just seven players during a season that Coach Russell described as being even tougher than last, which was disrupted by COVID-19.

“We just had to keep battling through different things, and that’s what I’m proud about,” Russell said. “They just never gave up, they never decided to quit. They could have just thrown up their hands and said, ‘we can’t do this with seven,’ but they did it.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.