AUGUSTA — The Cony High School girls basketball team wanted to come out running, and that´s just what the Rams did Friday night in an Eastern A quarterfinal win.

 

The quest for an eighth Class A state championship began Friday night at the Augusta Civic Center with a convincing 57-47 win over No. 9 Bangor.

Top-seeded Cony (19-0) advanced to the regional semifinals for the second consecutive season and will play No. 4 Mt. Ararat (13-6) — which ousted No. 5 Messsalonskee — on Wednesday, also at the Civic Center.

Cony standouts Josie Lee, Mia Diplock and Melanie Guzman overwhelmed Bangor during a regular-season meeting, combining for 31 points in a 58-37 victory Jan. 6. The trio was too much for Bangor again in the postseason rematch, combining for 50 points.

Diplock led the way with 25 points while Lee chipped in with 13 points and Guzman added 12.

Katie Brochu scored 20 to lead Bangor (8-12), which couldn´t slow the aggressive Cony attack.

Last season Cony advanced in the tournament with modest expectations. But those expectations multiplied this season, thanks to an unblemished run through the regular season. Cony certainly looked like a title contender Friday. The Rams essentially put the game out of reach early thanks to a pair of 11-0 runs in the opening four minutes.

Cony forced 11 Bangor turnovers in the first quarter, including four in that run. Diplock sparked the surge with a 3-pointer on the wing and an easy layup off a steal.

Bangor pulled within 11-6 but Cony answered with another 11-0 run to take a 22-6 lead at the end of first quarter. Lee highlighted this spurt with five points, including a three-point play off a steal and layup. Lee stripped Denae Johnson of the ball, scurried down the floor, banked in a layup and crashed to the ground after drawing the foul.

The junior guard got up, smiled, and then calmly sank the free throw to give Cony a 20-6 lead.

Diplock scored 10 points and Lee chipped in with seven in the first quarter alone.

Things didn´t get much better in the second quarter for Bangor, which couldn´t take advantage of a considerable size advantage.

Bangor features three players who stand at least 6 feet tall. Cony has just one player — Guzman — listed 5-foot-9 or taller.

Brochu scored 10 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter to help Bangor inch closer, but it was too little too late.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640
[email protected]


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