North Yarmouth Academy’s Angel Huntsman, left, has the ball knocked away by Carrabec’s Julia Baker during a Class C South girls’ basketball semifinal Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — The Carrabec girls’ basketball team had lofty aspirations this season, with a Class C South title seemingly within reach.

But then the No. 2 Cobras ran into a tough North Yarmouth Academy squad, which got the upper hand thanks to some tough defense.

Third-seeded NYA ousted No. 2 Carrabec 42-28 in a regional semifinal Thursday afternoon at the Augusta Civic Center.

The Panthers (17-2) move on to the regional final Saturday against top-seeded Hall-Dale (20-0). Carrabec finished 15-3.

Point guard Angel Huntsman led NYA with 15 points, while forward Graca Bila added 10.

Guard Julia Baker paced the Cobras with eight points, and forward Lindsay Hamilton added seven.


Carrabec’s Molly Hay defends Charlotte Harper-Cunningham of NYA, which advanced to Saturday’s Class C South final. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“From what we saw (of Carrabec on film), we thought we were quicker, but thought they were stronger,” NYA Coach Tom Robinson said. “I think our defense came out and I think we held them to two 3-pointers in the first half, with our man-to-man defense.”

The Panthers’ press made life difficult for Carrabec, particularly in the first half when it forced several turnovers. Up 7-4 after the first quarter, NYA outscored Carrabec 15-5 in the second – including an 8-0 run – to go into halftime with a 22-9 lead.

“We struggled putting the ball in the hoop,” Carrabec Coach Skip Rugh said. “It just wasn’t our day to shoot. If you were going to tell me we were going to hold them to 40 points, I would have said we had a good chance at winning this game. We just really struggled with getting anything going offensively.”

Carrabec outscoring the Panthers 12-7 in the third quarter. But Huntsman and Bila helped seal the game for NYA in the fourth.

“(Carrabec) made a nice run, but I felt like if they had to press us, that’s what we wanted, we want to be pressed,” Robinson said. “(Huntsman) is a one (woman) press-breaker.”

Huntsman paced NYA not only with her scoring but with her ability to distribute the ball to teammates.

“She’s a true point guard,” Robinson said. “If you need someone to get your scorers the ball, she’ll get you the ball. She can handle it. She’s unselfish. If she shoots normal like she did tonight, she’s tough to defend.”

It was the final game for six Carrabec seniors: Aliyah Grunder, Cheyenne Cahill, Courtney Rollins, Baker, Brooke Welch and Charlee Davis.

“They’ve been a committed group, even through last year, through the whole COVID year,” Rugh said. “They’re a special group and they’ll be missed.”

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