AUGUSTA — The chants came down from the Messalonskee student section during the girls basketball team’s A North semifinal against Hampden Academy, starting in the first quarter.

“Al-ly Tur-ner!” the fans cheered as the Eagles started building their lead.

In the second quarter, they started again. This time, “Ken-na Bro-deur!” was the refrain.

The fans get it. As Messalonskee proved again, this time in a resounding 70-31 victory over the fifth-seeded Broncos at the Augusta Civic Center, the top-seeded Eagles aren’t lacking in ways to beat their opponents.

“We wanted this all season, and we knew we could do it,” senior forward McKenna Brodeur said. “Now we’re there. It feels pretty good.”

One game after Sophie Holmes’s 33 points led the way in a quarterfinal victory over Gardiner, the Eagles (20-0) conquered the semifinals with a display in depth. Brodeur led the team along with Holmes with 16 points, and Turner turned in 14 points as the top team in Class A North all season long rolled again.

“We can play everyone on our bench. Everyone has a role on the team,” Turner said. “It’s just, whoever is having a good game, that’s who we get the ball. If it’s all of us, if we’re all on, then we send the ball around. We just have a lot of offensive weapons.”

Holmes did her usual damage — she had nine points in the first quarter, helping Messalonskee to a 20-12 lead — but the Eagles took turns in the spotlight. Turner earned her opportunities both on offense and defense, contributing both perimeter defense and help in the post with long passes in transition and hard drives to the basket. She and Holmes both made a pair of layups despite Hampden (12-8) fouls.

“As a point guard, you do play that role a lot,” Turner said. “It’s nice when your teammates have someone to come to.”

“To me, that’s our Ally. That’s what we’ve seen from her a lot,” coach Keith Derosby said. “She’s worked hard the last couple of days to kind of correct some of the other things, and knows that she has the confidence to go to the rim. And she knows her teammates want her to do that, too.”

Brodeur had 12 points by halftime, scoring seven in the second quarter alone as Messalonskee mounted a 39-19 halftime lead, and played a significant role in holding 6-foot-4 center Bailey Donovan to four points after she scored 21 against Lawrence in the quarterfinals.

“We knew coming in that she can score. She’s taller than everybody else, and she’ll get the rebounds,” Brodeur said. “We just tried to pin her behind the basket or away, because she wanted to go above us.”

Freshman Gabrielle Wener added eight points for Messalonskee, and junior Makayla Wilson had six.

“It’s balance, and they work on it every day,” Desrosby said. “Every one of those kids is busting every day to be able to play at that speed. It’s been a lot of work this season, but I’m proud of the girls. They’ve really put it in.”

With their abundance of options clicking, the Eagles were off and running early. Messalonskee went 16-for-26 from the field in the first half, and ended it on a 15-0 run.

“We wanted to win every quarter,” Brodeur said. “We said coming in, ‘Win one quarter at a time and you’ll win the game.’ That was our motto of the whole game.”

Now it’s off to the regional final against No. 3 Nokomis, and a chance to keep a dream season rolling along.

“We were really excited. We came ready to play today,” Turner said. “We got a lot of our nerves out in our first game here, and it feels good to win.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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