AUGUSTA — In hopes of pulling off an upset in the Class A North boys basketball quarterfinals, No. 6 Lawrence tried to choke third-seeded Medomak Valley’s offense by having senior Kyle Robinson play suffocating defense on Panthers star forward Nicholas DePatsy.

Things got a little too claustrophobic for Medomak in the third quarter, so the Panthers put their running shoes on.

Medomak used a 24-4 second-half run to pull away from Lawrence and grab a 62-44 victory Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Medomak (16-3) will face No. 2 Brewer in a semifinal game Wednesday. Lawrence ends its season 10-9.

Cameron Allaire led the Panthers with 21 points and eight rebounds while Brandon Douglas chipped in with 13 points. Seth Powers led the Bulldogs with 16 points while Mason Cooper added 12.

Allaire, a 6-foot-6 junior center, scored 18 in the second half, including the last five points of the third quarter that set the game-changing run in motion.

“It was just a matter of getting the ball inside and being in the right place at the right time,” Allaire said. “We started to run the ball down the court. I was just getting open and they fed me the ball.”

“They were shrinking the court on us and they kept us in check,” Medomak coach Nick DePatsy said. “We didn’t have any space, so we just started to spread them out a little bit and try to create with our guards and get run-outs. And we played better defense.”

Senior guards Zach Starr and Douglas were the main facilitators, usually finding Allaire or Cale Gee (six fourth-quarter points) for easy hoops after breaking down the Bulldogs defense.

“We were breaking them down on fastbreaks. We kept the tempo up and they just couldn’t keep up,” said Douglas, who transferred from Gardiner Area High School for his senior year. “We found a way around (the defense to stop DePatsy) and found other people to score.”

Led by seven points from Cooper, the Bulldogs bounced back from a slow start to take the lead with an 11-4 run in the second quarter. Hoops by Cooper and Powers gave them a 22-18 lead before DePatsy, held scoreless to that point by Robinson, hit a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left in the half to pull the Panthers within one at intermission.

“Kyle’s one of the toughest kids I’ve ever coached,” Lawrence coach Jason Pellerin said. “He just plays outstanding defense. He’s positionally the best defender I’ve ever coached. He just plays defense exactly the way you’re supposed to.

The Bulldogs limited DePatsy to 10 points, but it was his first hoop of the second half that put the Panthers in front for good at 31-30 late in the third. Allaire followed with an inside hoop and then a layup off a steal that ended up being a three-point play and gave Medomak a 36-30 lead entering the fourth.

“In essence, they started hitting shots and ours weren’t dropping,” Pellerin said. “We got into a spot for a few minutes where they started to get transition buckets. We said we had to keep it a halfcourt game. They started feeling it when they got a few transition buckets.”

Lawrence, meanwhile, found little room to operate inside against the bigger Panthers.

“We watched footage last night and we could tell Cooper liked to go to the hole and dish out to Powers and other guys,” Allaire said. “I was just trying to stay back in the paint and defend that and take charges and rebound.”

Lawrence never rebounded after Gee scored six of eight Medomak points to make it 49-34. Allaire followed with back-to-back hoops inside to inflate the margin to 19.

The Bulldogs will lose four senior starters to graduation — Powers, Robinson, J.T. Nutting and Walker Thomas, along with reserve Derek Bowen. Cooper, their leading scorer this year, is a junior.

“The memories that I’m going to take away from this — some big wins down the stretch and just watching a group of boys grow up and mature together, play together and hold themselves accountable,” Pellerin said.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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