AUGUSTA — After the craziness of a four-overtime game and Messalonskee’s upset of Lawrence, it seemed anything could happen in the Eastern A tournament.
Even the No. 1 seed losing in the quarterfinal.
No. 8 Mt. Blue and Miranda Nicely did everything they could to make it happen, but top-ranked Edward Little held on for a 47-45 victory to cap a thrilling Friday of Eastern A girls basketball quarterfinals at the Augusta Civic Center.
“We were right there with them,” Mt. Blue coach Tom Philbrick said. “(We) had a couple opportunities and we didn’t get to cash in, so they came away with the win. We were right there with them the whole way.”
Nicely finished with 29 points and nine rebounds. Kory Norcross led Edward Little (18-1) with 12 points, and Brooke Reynolds added nine points and 14 rebounds. Eraleena Hairston also had some big rebounds and baskets for EL, and finished with eight points and six boards.
Nicely scored 14 points in the first half, with 10 of those coming in the first quarter. Mt. Blue’s momentum took a hit when Norcross banked in a 50-footer at the first-quarter buzzer to tie the game at 12. With the score 21-20 in favor of EL late in the second quarter, the Red Eddies went on a 7-0 run to lead 28-20 at halftime.
But Nicely and Addie Brinkman (eight points) kept the Cougars close in the third quarter, and Eryn Doiron banged home a big 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter and cut Edward Little’s lead to 40-35. Nicely then took over, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter, as Mt. Blue trimmed a 46-38 deficit with 3:25 left to 46-45 with 2:01 to go.
“That’s the way the girl can play,” Philbrick said of Nicely. “She’s a special player. She played up in a big game.”
Emily Jacques blocked a shot by Nicely with 30 seconds left, and EL secured the ball. EL’s Tianna Harriman turned the ball over on a double-dribble with 16 seconds left, then stole the ensuing inbounds pass. Harriman made the first free throw for a 47-45 lead, and after she missed the second, Mt. Blue’s rushed 3-pointer was no good.