BANGOR — The Houlton girls basketball team felt like it had something to prove after Saturday’s Class B North quarterfinal win over Foxcroft Academy, Yes, the Shiretowners won by nine points, but they didn’t think they played their best basketball.

“To be honest with you, we were a little disappointed with our effort against Foxcroft in the opening round. We gave up too many points and got beat badly on the boards,” Houlton coach Shawn Graham said. “With Winslow, we knew they were going to put five good athletes on the floor, and our focus was a good, gritty 3-point line defense, and we needed to rebound much better.”

In Wednesday’s semifinal against Winslow, Houlton may not have played its best, but it played much better, and took a 49-38 win over the Black Raiders.

No. 1 Houlton (19-1) will face No. 7 Hermon (13-8) in the Class B North final on Saturday at Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center. No. 4 Winslow ends the season at 16-4.

“We were just trying to show people what we really do, that we can play good defense, and that held us in the game,” Kolleen Bouchard, who led Houlton with 21 points, said.

Houlton took the lead for good on a Rylee Warman 3-pointer with 4:22 left in the first quarter. The Shiretowners led 13-4 after one quarter and 21-9 at the half.

“I was extemely pleased with the defensive effort in the first half,” Graham said. “We held Winslow to nine points in the first half, which was incredible.”

Added Bouchard: “We didnt score a lot of points in the first half. Sometimes we score 21 in the first quarter.”

While Houlton played strong defense in the first half, Winslow did itself no favors by going ice cold from the field, missing a number of open looks.

“We just didn’t finish around the rim, and we’ve been preaching that all season. We missed quite a few open layups we should have made. We didn’t knock down shots today. There’s nothing you can really change about that,” Winslow coach Lindsey Withee said.

Bouchard wasn’t Houlton’s only offensive weapon. Warman scored nine points, and Aspen Flewelling added 11, all in the second half. That gave the Black Raiders tough matchup decisions to make.

“Who do you try to play off from? You try to double team Bouchard, who are we going to pick? They’re all weapons,” Withee said. “Defensively, I thought we did a pretty good job for the majority of the game.”

“They definitely played tougher defense on me (in the second half). I noticed that. They knew we were posting up. That’s was our game plan, because they’re smaller,” Bouchard said.

The Black Raiders rallied in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 30-24 on a Sarah Guimond 3-pointer with 1:52 left in the quarter. The Shiretowners were in foul trouble quickly in the third, with Winslow in the bonus by the end of the quarter.

“We exerted an awful lot of energy in the first half. When you get a little bit tired, you start committing some lazy, foolish fouls,” Graham said.

Houlton then went on an 11-2 run, effectively sealing the win.

Heather Kervin led Winslow with 16 points, eight rebounds and three steals.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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