AUGUSTA — Fresh off the bench after some much-earned rest, Izzy Stewart looked to Darby Flanagan with an expression of satisfaction.

High-fiving as they took the floor to begin the third quarter, the two forwards for the Richmond girls’ basketball team knew what they’d done. All afternoon long, their mere existence was a nightmare for Poland, a team that had no answer for the duo’s size in the Bobcats’ 52-28 Class C South quarterfinal victory.

“They were walking in (to the Augusta Civic Center) past us, and I got a little doubtful because they looked pretty tall, but their height was in the guards, I feel like,” Stewart said. “Throughout the game, once we found a rhythm for ourselves inside, we just got going and didn’t stop.”

The Bobcats improve to 17-2 and advance to the semifinals to face No. 2 Hall-Dale on Wednesday. No. 6 Poland ends the season 13-7.

Stewart and Flanagan helped Richmond jump out to an 18-0 lead and cruise to the win. The 6-foot Stewart led the way with 19 points and six rebounds, while Flanagan, 6-2, added 14 points and six rebounds.

Richmond’s size advantage was evident early, as Stewart and Flanagan wore down Poland down low. The former scored 10 first-quarter points and the latter added two early buckets. Poland finally ended Richmond’s run with a 3-pointer by Charlotte Grenier at the buzzer as the Bobcats took an 18-3 lead into the second quarter.


“When we went up 18-0, I was just telling the girls, ‘Just keep pounding it inside, and if the inside isn’t there, let’s kick it out and look for the outside shot,’” said Richmond Coach Mike Ladner. “We played great man-to-man defense, had great communication and showed a lot of patience on offense.”

Poland went on a 12-4 run in the second to cut Richmond’s lead to 10. The Bobcats then scored eight of the next 10 points to push their lead back to 16.

Fueled by six points from Flanagan, Richmond outscored the Knights 13-2 in the third quarter to take a 23-point lead into the fourth. Stewart then scored six points of her own in the fourth as the Bobcats led by as many as 28 late in a wire-to-wire victory.

“We really just focused on playing our game today and letting them adjust how they were going to adjust,” Stewart said. “I think we just had to go out and play our game like we would against anyone else. If we do that, we have faith in ourselves that, no matter who we’re playing, we should come out on top.”

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