AUGUSTA — The Seacoast Six rides again.

Third-seeded Seacoast Christian, with just six players, got a career-high 37 points from junior Ellie Leech to post a 63-52 win over top-seeded Valley as the Guardians won their second straight Class D South girls’ basketball championship Saturday afternoon at the Augusta Civic Center.

Senior Breckyn Winship added 21 points, as both Leech and Winship finished with double-doubles.

The Guardians (12-9) will meet Southern Aroostook in the state championship game for a second straight season. Southern Aroostook (18-3), which is making its fifth consecutive appearance in the Class D final, beat Seacoast Christian 58-18 last season.

“That was what we needed today,” Leech said of her 37 points. “We needed scoring, and that’s what Coach asked me to do. He said I was going to have a monster game, so that’s what I went out and did.”


Leech also grabbed 17 rebounds.

“She burned us,” Valley Coach Gordon Hartwell added. “When somebody puts 37 on you, nobody can say you’re not solid.”

Seacoast trailed 16-11 after the first quarter despite grabbing a 5-0 lead.

Leech started to heat up in the second quarter with nine points, but Valley still was in front at halftime, 28-27.

Leech then shot 5 of 8 in the third quarter and sparked an 11-2 run that gave the Guardians a 43-34 lead.

“I told her (Saturday) morning that she had a monster game inside of her coming,” Seacoast Coach Lee Petrie said. “I just knew it. … We decided to open the floor and let Ellie take over. She’s just a phenomenal player, as we’ve all seen for the last four years.”


The Guardians played the bulk of the fourth quarter with one-half of their roster having four fouls, including Leech, Winship (11 rebounds) and Bri Cluff (12 rebounds).

Though Seacoast had to soften out of the full-court pressure that had forced 16 turnovers through three quarters, it was too late for Valley (16-5) to claw all the way back.

A cold shooting day, particularly in the second half as Seacoast began pulling away, doomed the Cavaliers. They were 11 for 39 from the floor (28.2 percent) over the final 16 minutes and missed everything from 3-pointers to uncontested layups.

“In games like this, you just cannot miss easy chances, because you don’t get easy chances,” said Hartwell, whose team suffered its first loss to a Class D school this season. “When you do (get easy chances), you better make them. They did make them, and we didn’t. We had tremendous looks through the whole game, but nothing was going down.

“That’s youth, but at some point you’ve got to go beyond that.”

“In the end, I think we just outplayed them,” said Leech, who noted the Guardians’ tough out-of-class schedule, including four losses to Class C South finalists North Yarmouth Academy and Old Orchard Beach. “Our conditioning throughout the whole season, we played some tough Class C teams. We knew how to take care of it and get it done in the end.”

“When you’re in the southern part of southern York county, and your closest Class D game is (in) Freeport and the second-closest is in Waterville, you take a lot of body blows,” Petrie continued. “It prepares us for what we’re doing right now. Our kids, we accept it and it’s part of our growth process.”

Brielle Hill led Valley with 23 points. Madeline Hill added 12, and Kirsten Bigelow finished with 11.

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