SALEM TOWNSHIP — The Mt. Abram girls got complacent with their lead in the second half. But when you score 21 straight points in the first half, you can get away with that a little bit.

The Roadrunners allowed just six points in the first half, and though visiting North Yarmouth Academy made a much better showing after the break, the game was never in doubt. Mt. Abram won 52-35 in a Western C girls basketball preliminary round game Tuesday evening.

The sixth-seeded Roadrunners, who finished 6-12 last winter, are 11-8 and will face No. 3 Boothbay in a Western C quarterfinal at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Augusta Civic Center.

“I think we work better as a team this year,” said Mt. Abram junior Miranda Smith, who finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds. “We’re working hard.”

NYA (9-10) the 11th seed, was spooked early on by Mt. Abram’s full-court press, the Roadrunners’ biggest crowd of the season (about 350 fans) and by the unusual setup of the court. The walls are far behind the basket, which changes the shooting background, and the Panthers made just 3 of 25 shots in the first half. All three baskets were made by Charlotte Esancy (13 points, 12 rebounds).

“We had 22 turnovers in the first half,” NYA coach Liz Smith said. “I think it was just nerves. We knew we could play better. If we could have just put the two halves together, it would have been a different game.”

Mt. Abram led 8-0 before Esancy scored inside to make it 8-2, then ran off 21 consecutive points to make the score 29-2. Smith, Annie Dexter (nine points), Tori Beane (eight), Jill Howard (six) and Mikayla Luce (six) all got in the action, as the Roadrunners worked the ball inside and consistently got high-percentage shots.

From their 30-6 lead at halftime, the Roadrunners pushed that to 42-12 before NYA started playing like a nine-win team.

Morgan Scully had all 19 of her points in the second half, and was 9 for 10 from the line.

With Mt. Abram’s lead down to 48-30 and about four minutes left, Roadrunners coach Doug Lisherness called his second timeout of the fourth quarter.

“I’m very happy that we’re going to Augusta — we haven’t been there in two years,” Lisherness said. “But that was an ugly game at times.”

Mt. Abram played Boothbay once this season, losing by 14 in December.

For now, the Roadrunners will simply just enjoy their next destination.

“It means so much,” Smith said. “We’ve worked so hard to get this far, and we definitely deserve it.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]


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