AUGUSTA — For the first time in 12 years, the Cony girls basketball team will play for a state championship.

The third-seeded Rams beat reigning Class A champion Lawrence at its own game Friday night, pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 54-46 win over the No. 1 Bulldogs in the Class A North final at the Augusta Civic Center. Junior Morgan Fichthorn posted a double-double for Cony, with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

“At the start of the season, we knew we had a lot of skill,” said Fichthorn, who had game-highs in both points and rebounds. “We worked hard every single practice, and this was the goal at the end of it.”

Cony (14-7) will face Brunswick (19-2) in the Class A final on March 2 at 1:05 p.m. in Portland. The Dragons beat Mt. Ararat 39-30 in the A South final Friday night. Cony last won the regional title in 2012, and the program’s last state championship came in 2007.

Cony trailed by one heading into the fourth quarter but held Lawrence to just one field goal in the final period. The Rams may have gone the final 6:35 of game time without a field goal of their own, but they sealed the victory by going 7 for 8 from the free throw line over the last 75 seconds of regulation.


After connecting on 8 of 12 field goal attempts in the third quarter, Lawrence (19-2) struggled in the fourth. The Bulldogs went 1 for 8 from the floor— a Madayln Provost pull-up jumper with 2:00 to go — over the last eight minutes.

Provost finished with12 points, with eight of those coming in the third quarter. Closing down the sophomore shooter was a priority for Cony, which eschewed its usual 1-3-1 zone for a box-and-one to try and contain Provost.

“We came into it trying to get her out of the game, and I think we did a pretty good job with it,” said Cony senior Maci Freeman. “Coming in as a smaller team, we knew we had to box out and we did that.”

“They did a nice job in that box-and-one,” added Lawrence coach Greg Chesley. “We needed to hit a couple of outside shots to maybe get them out of that. They really packed it in. Our outside game has a lot to do with Maddie, but when we go inside we’re pretty effective as well. When they really packed that box-and-one down low, we had a hard time going inside. We just needed to hit a few more shots to bring them out of it.”

Fichthorn opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer for the Rams. Morgan Cunningham followed with one of her own the next time down the floor to give Cony a 47-42 lead it would not relinquish.

“There’s nobody that works harder than Morgan Fichthorn. She’s unbelievable,” Cony coach John Dennett said. “We came in with a really good game plan. … We’ve been working in practice on the box-and-one, we stayed with it all night. It worked really well. The girls were super-amazing.”


Cunningham finished with 14 points, and her bucket was emblematic of Cony’s entire night. Fichthorn missed the initial three-point attempt — and while the Bulldogs stood and watched, Cunningham plucked down the rebound, dribbled out beyond the arc and drained her long-range bid.

Despite conceding the size advantage, Cony out-rebounded Lawrence by a 14-8 count in the second half and forced the Bulldogs into an uncharacteristic 22 turnovers on the night.

Cony’s Maci Freeman waves the net after winning the Class A North girls final game against Lawrence on Friday at the Augusta Civic Center Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

“They got a lot of second-chance opportunities. They were flying around,” Chesley said. “Give the Cony girls a lot of credit, they went after the ball like it was made of gold and they needed it. They did a really nice job.”

After a start-and-stop first three-quarters of the season, Cony hit on the right recipe just in the nick of time. The Rams won their fifth straight game Friday and sixth in their last seven dating back to a 14-point loss at Lawrence on Feb. 2.

Dennett pointed to a win at home over Hampden Academy on Jan. 30 as a turning point for the squad.

“We’d been talking all year about complete games. I felt like we were pretty damn close to playing a complete game that night,” Dennett said. “It’s just the resiliency of these girls. They’re incredible.”

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.