AUGUSTA — It wasn’t fancy, and it didn’t need to be.

Top-seeded Lawrence raced out to an 18-point first-quarter lead and then did enough to hold No. 4 Camden Hills at bay, earning a 60-45 win in Class A North girls’ basketball semifinal Wednesday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Lily Gray, a junior, led all scorers with 20 points as part of a double-double that included 12 rebounds, with eight of those coming at the offensive end.

“We’ve put in all the hard work, and it’s good for us to win and see that the hard work is paying off,” Gray said. “I just focus when I get offensive touches that I’m squaring my shoulders and going up strong. On the defensive end, I’m just making sure that I’m boxing out and going up strong for rebounds.”

Lawrence (19-1), the reigning Class A state champion, will meet No. 3 Cony in the regional final on Friday.

Lawrence’s Kaylee Elkins attempts to drive by Camden Hills’ Thea Laukka during a Class A girls basketball semifinal game on Wednesday at the Augusta Civic Center. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

“You’ve got to take that survive-and-advance attitude. We survived and we’re advancing, and we’re where we want to be on Friday night,” Lawrence Coach Greg Chesley said. “It could have been a little easier – taking care of the ball and doing some smart things at the end, things we’re usually pretty good at, which is kind of a little concerning. We made some key mistakes and missed some key layups.


“But we did all that and we still won, so we’re OK.”

Four Bulldogs reached double figures. Maddie Provost scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers, while Nadia Morrison and Kaylee Elkins added 10 points apiece.

“Our coach always brings us back together and reminds us that we’ve got to keep going and we’re not done yet,” Gray said of playing with a big lead.

Lawrence’s Maddie Provost attempts to shoot over Camden Hills defenders during a Class A North girls’ basketball semifinal Wednesday at the Augusta Civic Center. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

Lawrence shot less than 40 percent from the floor (25 of 65) and committed 17 turnovers – 12 in the second half. The Windjammers (13-7), however, committed far more turnovers (24) and shot even worse (33.3 percent), missing 15 of 20 first-half attempts from the floor.

After trailing by 16 at the half, Camden clawed to stay in contention. Thea Laukka’s hoop with 4:47 to play cut the deficit to 53-41 and ignited thoughts of an improbable comeback – but the Windjammers went without a field goal for the remainder of the game and netted only four free throws the rest of the way.

The most remarkable part of the Lawrence victory was the near flawless start.


The Bulldogs opened the contest with a 14-0 run over the first 4:17 and scored 17 of the game’s first 18 points. They led 21-3 with 33.7 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.

They simply couldn’t sustain that pace.

“The first quarter was pretty good,” Chesley said. “That helps because we have a habit of starting slow. Today, we started fast and were able to hold on. When we get out and run … good things happen for us. We’re pretty athletic and pretty good-sized, and we did that in the first quarter.”

Kirsten Jones and Leah Jones each scored nine points to lead Camden, with Leah Jones scoring all but two of hers in the second half. Laukka ended her night with eight points.

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.