AUGUSTA — Nights like Tuesday are to be expected of the Cony High School girls basketball team this season.

At times, the Rams — who start three sophomores and a freshman — showed the promise that head coach Ted Rioux hopes will translate into future success for the program. That youth also carries the burden of inexperience, though, and it proved to be costly in a 61-49 loss to Lewiston.

The Blue Devils trailed 18-12 early in the second quarter before stringing together a 15-0 run spurred by turnovers and second-chance points to take the lead for good.

“We’re going through some things as a team that a young team does,” Rioux said. “I was very proud of the way that we didn’t fold up (Tuesday). We competed throughout the game and I’m proud of my girls. I saw some growth there and it’s growth that I’ve been waiting awhile to see.”

Sophomore Cate Silva led the way for Cony (1-3 Class A North) with 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the floor to go along with 11 rebounds. Senior Sam Akers buried a pair of 3-pointers on her way to 10 points, while sophomore Allee Cloutier chipped in with six rebounds and five steals.

Kristina Blais paced Lewiston (2-2 Class AA North) with a game-high 18 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the floor and 7 of 9 from the foul line. She also had five assists while Victoria Harris had 12 points and 12 rebounds — the bulk of which came in the first half as she sat the majority of the second with foul trouble. Morgan Eliasen did a little bit of everything for the Blue Devils with 12 points, five offensive rebounds and four steals.

While the final result ultimately went against the Rams, the opening quarter could not have gone much better. The Rams oustcored Lewiston 16-10 behind some solid defense and shooting, as they made all four of their free throws and 5 of 15 field goals — including a pair of 3-pointers.

The second quarter was where Lewiston took control, however. After making the first of two free throws, Blais missed the second but Harris was there for the rebound and putback. Another offensive rebound on the ensuing Lewiston possession led to another bucket from Harris, and moments later Skylar Gaudette stole the ball just over halfcourt and went the other way for an uncontested layup.

Lewiston sandwiched a second-chance basket and two more points off turnovers around an Alasia Branch 15-foot jumper from the right baseline before Cony finally halted the run with a Silva foul shot with 2:07 remaining in the quarter.

Silva added another basket to cut the deficit to six points, but Blais answered with a straightaway 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds remaining in the opening half to give the Blue Devils a commanding 30-21 lead at the break.

To the Rams credit, though, they did not “fold up,” as Rioux noted. Lewiston led by as many as 15 points late in the fourth quarter but for the most part Cony remained within striking distance.

“I was very happy with how they battled,” Rioux said. “We’ve gone through some games where we’ve given up and it got ugly. (Tuesday night) wasn’t one of those games.”

Statistically, the two teams were fairly even. Both teams finished with 32 rebounds, while Lewiston held a slight 20-19 edge in the turnover battle. Cony shot 19 of 56 from the floor — 4 of 15 on 3-pointers — while Lewiston was 21 of 52 from the floor, including 1 for 6 from behind the arc.

The free throw line did prove to be an advantage for the Blue Devils, though. Lewiston was 18 of 25 from the stripe while Cony was just 7 of 10.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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