Last year, shooting woes led to a quarterfinal exit from the Class B South girls’ basketball tournament for Lake Region.

Margo Tremblay helped ensure that the Lakers wouldn’t endure a similar fate this year.

Tremblay scored 21 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, and the fourth-seeded Lakers came from eight points down in the final eight minutes to beat No. 5 Wells, 44-42, in a Class B South quarterfinal Saturday at the Portland Expo.

“It came from the kids being able to start believing they should be here,” said Lakers Coach Doug Banks, who also got 11 points from Ava Smith and six from Bella Smith. “The energy was not there yet, and I knew that once we started having momentum … it was going to go our way toward the end.”

Wells (12-7) led 35-27 after a jumper from Megyn Mertens (21 points) on its second possession of the fourth quarter. But the Warriors, who played with only three subs, didn’t score again until the final minute, and Coach Sandi McPadden said fatigue factored in.

“For sure. I think this court is a bigger court, it’s a bigger environment,” said McPadden, who got 11 points from Payton Fazzina and six from Maren Maxon. “I think fatigue and nerves and all of that definitely played a part.”


Lake Region’s rally started with a pair of baskets from Ava Smith. Tremblay drove for a layup and made a pair of free throws to tie it. After a Helena Sheldrick free throw, Tremblay knocked down a 3-pointer for a 39-35 lead with 2:30 to go.

It was the late execution that was missing when the Lakers (13-6) lost to Medomak Valley last season on 30% shooting from the floor and 18% shooting from the free-throw line.

“Last year, we had a really bad day to have a bad shooting day,” said Tremblay, who added six rebounds. “A lot of time during practices, we take time to do game-realistic shots, like releasing quicker and playing with pressure. I think that helped a lot with what we needed to do.”

Wells had a chance late after Fazzina hit a 3-pointer to make it 43-42 with eight seconds left. After Bella Smith made a free throw for Lake Region, time expired before the Warriors could shoot.

“It felt so great to get a second chance at it,” Bella Smith said. “It felt like nobody believed in us to do it. Coming in here, we were not even in the conversation, so it feels good.”

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