AUGUSTA — The Cony girls basketball team bounced Edward Little from the Eastern A tournament in each of the last two seasons.
The Red Eddies made sure it wouldn’t be a third.
Emily Jacques scored a team-high 19 points and Tianna Harriman added 11 as top-seeded EL made quick work of No. 4 Cony 61-43 in a lopsided Eastern A semifinal game Wednesday evening.
EL (19-1) will next play No. 3 Oxford Hills (16-4) in the regional championship Friday night at 7.
Hayley Quirion scored a team-high 17 points for Cony, which finished 13-7. Bayleigh Logan scored nine points and Miss Maine Basketball semifinalist Emily Quirion finished with eight for the Rams.
“These guys have been our nemesis,” EL coach Craig Jipson said.
Brooke Reynolds scored 10 points and Eraleena Hairston added nine for EL, which dominated inside.
The Eddies out-rebounded the Rams 31-13.
“They are big and physical,” said Cony coach Ted Rioux said. “The game allowed them to be a little more physical than we could handle. By the time we adjusted, it was too late.”
The bigger Red Eddies wasted little time putting this one away
They raced out to a 12-3 lead, highlighted by a Maegan Chartier 3-pointer and two inside baskets from Jacques.
Harriman made it 15-5 when she drained a 3-pointer from the wing with 1:15 left in the quarter.
“The fast start certainly helped us,” Jipson said.
The Red Eddies then opened the second quarter on a 12-0 run, with Reynolds scoring five points.
By the time Hayley Quirion made the first field goal of the quarter for Cony, which came with 2:50 left, the deficit stood at a whopping 20 points — 30-10.
The Rams never recovered.
Jacques, Hairston and Norcross had their way in the paint, with all three getting easy-look baskets.
“We just kept pushing it inside,” said Norcross, who finished with seven points and as many rebounds. “We kept getting the ball in the post, and we had some easy baskets.”
Rioux twice called timeouts early in the first half to try and regroup his team, but each time the Eddies responded with another run.
When the teams headed to their locker rooms at the half, EL enjoyed a 36-17 lead.
The Rams never got closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
EL junior Calli Murray drew the assignment of covering the hot-shooting Emily Quirion.
“We have so much respect for her and what she can do,” Jipson said. “We had to try and shut her down.”
The Eddies did just that, limiting her looks and altering a few of her shoots.
EL opened the second half with an 11-0 run to push its lead to 52-25.
Cony answered with a 10-point run of its own, but it was too little too late.
“Our shots just weren’t falling,” Rioux said. “You live and die by the 3-pointer and tonight they didn’t go in. We had a great year. We played well all year. Our tallest player is 5-foot-8 and we battled with these bigger teams all year.
“We were one step away from the Eastern Maine championship game. It was a fantastic season.”