AUGUSTA — With the game hanging in the balance, the Cony girls basketball team had the play it wanted and the player it wanted with the ball.

But as senior Josie Lee drove for a potential game-tying basket with 45 seconds left to play, Oxford Hills sophomore Anna Winslow stepped across the lane and blocked Lee’s shot.

The Rams never recovered as the Vikings made four free throws in the final 26 seconds to post a 49-41 win against Cony in its home opener.

“It’s a really good win,” said Oxford Hills junior Crystal West, who scored a team-high 16 points. “We haven’t won against them in I don’t know when.”

Cony coach Karen Magnusson drew up the clear-out play for Lee during a timeout and everything went as planned except for Winslow’s blocked shot.

“She is one of the most athletic kids I’ve ever seen,” Oxford Hills coach Nate Pelletier said of the 5-foot-10 Winslow. “I feel by the time she’s a senior she’ll be touching the rim.”

The Rams (1-2) played catch-up for most of the game. They didn’t get the lead until Emily Quirion and sister Hayley hit back-to-back 3s to open the fourth quarter to make it 37-34. Emily Quirion finished with 16 points while Hayley hit three 3s for nine points. The Vikings (2-1) regained the lead when senior Abbie Eastman connected on a 3, but the Rams tied at 41 just inside three minutes when Alyssah Dennett stole the ball and laid it in. That was the last basket Cony would score.

“We dug back, momentum was going our way,” Magnusson said. “Like I said to the girls, stuff happens. One of our girls got nailed in the face . . . that set up an open 3 for them. We had some great looks down the (stretch).”

The Rams struggled in the first quarter, going nearly four minutes without scoring until Emily Quirion stole the ball and scored. Quirion added a three-point play and a 3 from the right side to score all eight of Cony’s points in the period which ended with the Vikings ahead, 15-8.

“I think it was first-game jitters,” Magnusson said. “We’ve had two road games and they were really excited to get here.”

The Rams didn’t play anyone over 5-8 and were hurt on the boards by the taller Vikings, who have a big center in Alex Rowe (12 points) and a couple of tall substitutes. They pressed and forced 11 first-half turnovers but committed 11 of their own, many of those relatively unforced.

The Rams managed a few layups but for the most part settled for 3-pointers. They made seven but Oxford Hills made six, led by West who hit four of five from behind the arc. They also did a nice job on Lee, double-teaming her when she caught the ball down low and holding her to four points.

“They had a great game.” Magnusson said. “We didn’t playa bad game, they won that game.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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