AUBURN — Central Maine Community College’s 23-point outburst in the second quarter was a clear sign that the Mustangs were well on their way to collecting another Yankee Small College Conference women’s basketball championship on Sunday afternoon.

The No. 1 Mustangs’ persistent defense and depth allowed them to roll away with 66-48 win over second-seeded Southern Maine Community College before a raucous crowd at Kirk Hall. 

CMCC held the Seawolves to 10 points in the second quarter, while building a 33-19 lead by halftime.

“They set that tone,” CMCC coach Andrew Morong said. “I am just so happy the way (the Mustangs) responded. We’ve struggled all year with adversity and (the Seawolves) kept punching back and punching back, making 4-0 runs and 6-0 runs and we bent, but never broke.”

Guard Emily Strachan of Lewiston helped carry the Mustangs to victory. She led the team with 15 points, pulled down seven rebounds, had five steals and went 4 for 5 from the free-throw line.

“Emily is an elite athlete,” Morong said. “She is an elite athlete and she’s an elite leader. she kind of said, ‘Hey guys follow me. I gotcha’ — and that kind of set the tone for everybody else.


“She probably should have gotten the tournament MVP, but we felt like Jade Smedberg should have gotten All-Conference and got snubbed so we wanted to make sure Jade got recognized, so otherwise, Emily would have been the conference tournament MVP.”

Now the Mustangs will be heading to the USCAA Division II National Tournament after the bids were announced on Sunday evening.

“I feel amazing,” she said. “It feels so good to do it back-to-back — and overall it was a just a team win. That makes it so much better.”

Central Maine Community College’s Emily Strachan drives to the basket during the YMCC championship game Sunday at CMCC in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Strachan agreed the second quarter was the turning point for the Mustangs, who went on a 21-9 run.

“(The Seawolves) kind of punched us in the beginning and we weren’t fazed,” she said. “Their fans were kind of going crazy and everything, but I feel like we thrived in that environment. The second quarter – yeah, we definitely picked it up. We built up a lead and that really helped us.”

Morong echoed Strachan’s comments about the Mustangs’ offensive outburst in the second quarter.


“We kind of flexed our depth a lot even though both teams got in foul trouble, (but) our depth was ready for their moment,” Morong said. “That’s why we build it all year long. Build up that depth and they stepped up today.

“During that second quarter, it didn’t matter what the rotation was, everyone was ready to step in and have their moment.”

The Mustangs had a lot of help from their bench and demonstrated how deep they are in the third quarter. Forward Destiny Mora Lopez made sure her teamed stayed ahead of the Seawolves, scoring nine of her 11 points in the quarter. Guard Mikenzie Melendez was steady all game and helped with 12 points, which included two 3-pointers. Chantel Ouellette had 11 points and three assists.

“(Destiny) is getting rebounds, being tough and hitting those inside shots, which we work on all the time,” Strachan said. “Definitely big for us just to get a little bit of momentum and everybody picked it up.

“Big-time third quarter (for Mora Lopez),” Morong said. “She started the year starting for us. She got injured and she has been battling that and this was like she was at the beginning of the season. I am just so proud of her. She just responded like everyone who went in the game responded in the moment.”

By the end of three quarter, the Mustangs grabbed a 52-35 lead. Ashleigh Mathisen led the Seawolves with 11 points and Tara Flanders had six points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Southern Maine Community College beat Great Bay Community College 59-47 to win the men’s YSCC championship on Sunday.

Related Headlines

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.