OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Ava Kreie’s 3-pointer bounced off the front rim and into the air, seemingly another bad break at a bad time for the Wells girls’ basketball team.

But then the ball fell back through the net.

From there, the Warriors never looked back.

Kreie’s momentum-turning shot in the third quarter highlighted her 16-point effort that led Wells to a 52-45 victory over Old Orchard Beach in a matchup between surging Western Maine Conference rivals.

The Warriors improved to 10-1. The Seagulls, led by 21 points and 12 rebounds from Elise MacNair, fell to 10-2.

“We knew coming in Old Orchard was going to be a tough game for us,” Kreie said. “We just had to face adversity, and we really stepped up when we needed to.”


Wells led 27-18 early in the third quarter, but struggled against the Seagulls’ pressure and trailed 35-30 with less than 30 seconds to go when Kreie released her shot from the left corner.

After the odd bounce, the shot fell in. Wells still trailed, but had momentum back going into the fourth.

“As soon as she let it off, I thought in my head ‘We need this right now,’” Wells Coach Sandi Purcell said. “As soon as it went in, I felt the bench behind me, I almost got pushed by one of the girls on the bench for cheering so loud.”

Wells carried the energy into the fourth, going 6 for 10 to start the quarter to build a 47-37 lead. Savannah Tardiff hit a short jumper to put Wells ahead for good with 6:45 to play, and Hailey Marshall knocked down a 3-pointer on the next trip down to make it 40-35.

Purcell said Kreie, the team’s lone returning starter, kept her teammates cool and helped them bounce back from the Seagulls’ run.

“Our girls got a little frazzled,” Purcell said. “It really helps having somebody like Ava on the court at the end of the game to have that senior leadership and be like ‘We’ve got this guys, we’re good.’”


Kreie credited her supporting cast, led by Tardiff, who had 11 points and a team-high four steals off the bench.

“A lot of our bench players stepped up,” she said. “Savannah Tardiff just changed the game.”

Tardiff left the game late in the fourth after being hit in the face while playing defense. Purcell said Tardiff was unable to close her jaw and was taken to the emergency room.

“We’re hoping it’s just … the muscles tensing up,” Purcell said. “We’re hoping it’s nothing too big. Losing someone like her would be a real hit to our team.”

Old Orchard Beach trailed for most of the game but rallied back in the third on the strength of a full-court press that flustered the Warriors. Tessa Ferguson’s 3-pointer tied the game at 30 with 1:22 left in the third, and a 3 from MacNair 20 seconds later put the Gulls ahead 33-30.

“We were kind of changing things defensively to find that spark. … They hit that shot late in the third, which I thought stymied the run,” Old Orchard Coach Dean Plante said. “There’s nothing we didn’t do particularly well, we just didn’t finish tonight.”

Ferguson scored 11 points. Summer St. Louis added seven points and nine rebounds.

“We did come in the third quarter a little more amped, with a little more energy,” MacNair said. “I definitely felt like we had them on the ropes. … Props to them for coming (back).”

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