AUGUSTA — The first tournament appearance of the Temple Academy girls basketball team in several years was delayed a day when Tuesday morning’s games were postponed to Wednesday. Now, the Bereans aren’t going home to Waterville just yet.

With a strong defensive effort, Temple pulled away from Highview Christian in the second half of Wednesday’s game, taking a 60-44 win in the Class D South quarterfinals.

“It’s really special to me, just to be able to bring the girls here and get this win for the school,” Temple junior Kiara Carr said. Carr led the Bereans with 28 points, 12 rebounds and six steals.

No. 4 Temple (13-6) will face No. 1 Rangeley (18-1) in the semifinals Thursday at 11:30 a.m. No. 5 Highview Christian finished 12-7.

This game was tied 23-23 at the half, but Temple went to a fullcourt press in the third quarter, which proved to be the difference. Highview committed 12 of its 32 turnovers in the third quarter. Those led to transition baskets for the Bereans, who led 41-31 at the end of the third quarter.

“We played with a little more intensity on the press. There was one pass they were continuously getting and we tried to cut that off,” Temple coach Mike Gorman said. “We hope by the late third quarter, fourth quarter, the press has worn on the other team. Defense is our goal.”

Temple put a lot of defensive attention on Highview’s Cassidy Lessner, holding her to eight points. After Kelsea McDonald scored 13 points to lead the Knights in the first half, Temple held her to two points in the second half.

Carr, meanwhile, found her shooting rhythm in the second half, scoring 20 of her 28 points as Temple pulled away.

“I finally started to warm up. I got my shots down and helped the team out,” Carr said.

The Bereans also had a good day at the foul line, making 19 of 28 shots.

“We practiced all week at Thomas College, and we shot a lot of free throws, knowing we’ve got to make them,” Gorman said.

Selam Heinrich had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Temple.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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