OAKLAND — Messalonskee anticipated Brunswick’s athleticism and aggressiveness going into Thursday night’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference game.

Anticipation is one thing. Preparation is another.

Brunswick’s defense flustered Messalonskee and the Dragons broke away with a 16-0 run in the second quarter and never loosened its grip in a 64-40 win.

Julia Champagne led the Dragons (5-4) with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists. Gillian Doehring chipped in with 14 points and Madeline Suhr with 12.

The Dragons used full-court pressure to unsettle the Eagles, who were playing without starters Taylor Easler and Dakota Bragg, and rotated defenders on sophomore Sophie Holmes, the KVAC’s leading scorer, limiting her to six points.

“We knew they were going to press. We knew they were going to be athletic and aggressive. We can’t simulate what they do in practice,” Messalonskee coach Keith Derosby said.

McKenna Brodeur led the Eagles with 10 points and six rebounds. Allyssa Turner added nine points.

Doehring set the tone early, scoring the Dragons first eight points as they jumped out to a 17-12 lead after one quarter.

Turner scored inside to make it 19-15 early in the second quarter. Champagne answered with a 3-pointer to start the decisive outburst, then Brunswick’s defense really kicked in.

Champagne put the lead into double digits for the first time and for good with a steal and layup. Suhr hooked up with Adrianna White (four points, 11 rebounds) on a nice feed. Doehring followed with the third of her four 3-pointers on the night, then Suhr blocked a shot inside and hustled to the other end to take a feed from Champagne for a layup that made it 33-14.

“We tried to force that tempo the way we want to play,” Brunswick coach Sam Farrell said. “Once we just kind of squeezed the pressure it turned into more of a fast-paced game, which I think suits us better.”

The Dragons took a 37-19 lead into halftime, which gave them enough cushion to come out for the third quarter and patiently pound the ball into the floor to draw Messalonskee out of its 2-3 zone. After about a minute the Eagles finally came out and even cut four points off the deficit after Brodeur scored back-to-back hoops to make it 39-25. But the Eagles couldn’t get Holmes going with the multiple looks the Dragons threw at her and found themselves down by 19 at the end of three.

“She’s gotten some face-guarding and we’ve talked about how she can break free from that,” Derosby said. “She was getting free but she was getting herself a little low to be able to do stuff. They did a nice job making sure she wasn’t getting clean looks at the rim.”

“We switch a lot, so it was all about making the read and knowing you had the shooter,” Farrell said. Every girl that went in probably guarded her for at least 30 seconds. We wanted to overplay her, don’t give her the outside look and we’ll have help when she drives by you because she’s quick as heck.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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