BANGOR — When Tre Grier hit a halfcourt shot for Maine Central Institute as the first quarter of Saturday’s Class B North quarterfinal ended, it appeared the Huskies had all the momentum the Cross Insurance Center could hold.

“For the next 45 or 50 seconds, it was a big shot,” MCI coach Josh Tardy said.

In the second quarter, that momentum melted like a snowbank in June. Ellsworth outscored the Huskies by 20 points in the second quarter, holding MCI to two points and putting the game out of reach. No. 2 Ellsworth (15-4) took a 56-28 win to advance to Wednesday’s semifinal game against No. 6 Caribou (12-8). No. 10 MCI ends the season 8-12.

With the score tied 10-10 after one quarter, Ellsworth took control of the game by using its size advantage and moving the ball on offense.

“We work better when we get the ball in the post and kick it out. We hit wide open 3s. We’re a pretty good 3-point shooting team. We have a deep team and everybody can shoot,” Ellsworth senior Nick Bagley said.

Bagley scored seven of his 11 points in the second quarter, as he and 6-foot-5 center Bruce St. Peter dominated in the low post. St. Peter scored nine of his game-high 15 points in the second quarter, and the Eagles duo made sure Ellsworth dominated the boards. For the game, Ellsworth out-rebounded MCI 43-21. St. Peter had 12 rebounds, while Bagley added 10.

“Bruce is a good rebounder. He’s so big. We out-sized them,” Bagley said.

Alex Braley and Kyle Golding came off the bench to hit big 3-pointers for the Eagles in the second quarter; each finished the game with eight points. Ellsworth closed the first half with a 17-0 run to take a 32-12 lead into the break.

“It’s happened sometimes throughout the year. We’ve had those spells where we’ve stopped running our offense and we get fast. There’s a modest panic mode there and that creates execution problems,” Tardy said. “We got caught up in the moment and that’s what happens. You have a bad eight minutes and it can be game, set, match.”

Foul trouble hurt MCI when Dillon Fitts, the Huskies’ top post player, picked up his fourth foul with 2:59 left in the first half. Tardy said he lost track of Fitts’ fouls. Fitts fouled out on an offensive foul with 5:08 left in the third.

“That was my fault. I apologized to Dillon. I didn’t realize he had three, and he got his fourth,” Tardy said.

Grier led the Huskies with 13 points and five boards.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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</URL>Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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