AUGUSTA – The Rangeley girls basketball team have three players listed at 6 feet or taller on its roster.
The Lakers opponent in the Western D quarterfinals Tuesday morning, Islesboro Central, has one of the smallest teams in the tournament, with all but two of their players listed 5-foot-8 or smaller.
It didn’t take long for the mismatch on paper to become a mismatch on the Augusta Civic Center floor Tuesday morning, as top-seeded Rangeley barreled into the semifinals with a 52-28 victory over No. 8 Islesboro Central School.
“I definitely think we came out and set the tone for the rest of the time,” said 6-foot Rangeley sophomore forward Taylor Esty. “We wanted to come out strong work the ball inside.
Esty and sophomore guard Seve Deery-DeRaps each scored 13 points for the Lakers (18-1). Esty also grabbed eight rebounds. Tori Letarte added 10 points for Rangeley, which will play Forest Hills in a regional semifinal game Thursday morning.
“We just really wanted to play our game,” Rangeley coach Heidi Deery said. “We didn’t see them in the regular season and we didn’t want to look past them. We wanted to get our offense going.”
No. 8 Islesboro Central finished 8-11. Alexandra Craig scored 15 points to lead the Eagles.
This one was over early.
The Lakers made seven of their first 12 shots and opened up a 17-2 lead after the first quarter. Esty had eight points, including six on post-up baskets, in the quarter.
“We were looking inside,” Esty said, “and then kick it out if we had to.”
The Eagles, meanwhile, struggled early. They missed their first five shots and were 1-for-9 from the field in the first quarter.
Rangeley effectively worked the ball into the paint early, with Esty, Blayke Morin and Emina Gunic getting plenty of easy looks.
“We really came prepared to play them,” Deery said. “We had our matchups ready to go. I thought we did that for the most part.”
Deery added she’s wanted to see the Lakers pound the ball inside more of late.
“We need to do that more,” she said. “We don’t do it enough. We do have an advantage. We’re young in there. We need to take more advantage of that. We’re doing a little bit of a better job with that.”
In the second quarter, the outside shots started to fall and the rout was on.
Deery-DeRaps made the first of her two 3-pointers midway through the quarter and followed it up with a 15-foot jump shot that pushed the lead to 28-8.
Islesboro never came within 19 the rest of the way.
“We really wanted to go have a blast and go play,” Deery said. “We did that.”
Bill Stewart — 621-5640