AUGUSTA — Just three minutes into Saturday’s Western Maine Class D championship game, Rangeley had the Richmond girls just where they wanted them.

Junior Jamie Plummer picked up her second foul and went to the bench. But the Lakers couldn’t take advantage of Plummer’s absence, and when she returned in the second quarter, she made them pay.

The 6-foot center scored 12 points in the quarter as the Bobcats took control of the game and went on to a 46-33 win to earn their second regional title in a row.

Top-seeded Richmond (19-1) will play Eastern Maine champion Washburn for the state championship at 1:05 p.m. Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Second-seeded Rangeley finished 18-3.

“Those two fouls definitely hurt my plan,” Plummer said. “When I was sitting there (I said) I need to go in, play smart and completely take over and do exactly what I can.”

Plummer scored a game-high 21 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked five shots. She also received the Patricia Gallagher Award, given to the tournament’s outstanding player.

While Plummer and Danica Hurley (12 points, four assists) provided the offense, the whole team played strong defense. Playing against Richmond’s full and half-court presses, the Lakers committed 30 turnovers.

“Defensively, it’s what the kids have done all year long,” Richmond coach Molly Bishop said, “relying on each other, trusting that they can take a chance and somebody else is going to step in behind them.”

Eleven of Rangeley’s turnovers came in the first quarter and many were a result of tournament jitters.

“We stared two freshmen and a sophomore and they showed it today,” Rangeley coach Heidi Deery said. “They’re great kids and they work extremely hard, but they weren’t polished basketball players today.”

The teams sparred to a 5-5 tie in the first quarter in which the Bobcats shot 1 for 15 from the field. The second quarter turned the game on a dime. Plummer took the ball to the basket nearly every time she touched it, resulting in five baskets and two trips to the foul line. Free throws were her only weakness. She shot 5 of 12 from the line while the Bobcats finished 16 of 32. Rangeley fared even worse, shooting 6 of 14 from the line.

Richmond outscored Rangeley 16-3 in the decisive second quarter to take a 21-8 lead at the half. Emily Carrier got going offensively for the Lakers in the second half, scoring eight of her 11 points, but it was too little too late.

“The first quarter it was 5-5, the third and fourth quarter it was 25-25,” Deery said. “How many times did we come down and either made our own error or actually passed it to them? You just can’t do that in a Western Maine final and come out on top.”

Hurley scored six points in the third quarter, two on a twisting layup through two defenders. The Bobcats got strong defensive games from Bri Snedeker, Alyssa Pearson, Noell Acord and Ciarra Lancaster off the bench as they took a 34-17 lead to the fourth quarter. Richmond won both regular-season games against Rangeley by a total of five points.

“The two games in the season really had us prepared for what we needed to do today,” Hurley said. “We went into it knowing we needed to remain calm and play intensely and that’s why we came out on top.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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