The Rangeley girls basketball team will not defend its Class D state championship after falling 33-29 on Thursday to Forest Hills in a regional semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center.

The effort was certainly there from the Lakers — who finished 16-4.

But Rangeley struggled offensively, making 11 field goals out of 60 shots (18 percent) while going 0 for 14 from 3-point range. But it put the pressure on the Tigers defensively, forcing eight turnovers in the fourth quarter to keep within striking distance.

While head coach Heidi Deery was proud of her team’s effort, she felt the team lacked a killer instinct — a way of being able to finish off games in the fourth quarter — throughout the season.

“We just didn’t have that killer instinct, which is something that we identified very early after last year’s championship,” Deery said. “That we were going to be lacking without our two seniors from last year — they brought that for our team. That was something that we talked about the entire year. We would always kind of grind out our wins. We would never put that nail in the coffin. When you look at our season and you look at our scores, that’s exactly how it went.”

Despite the team’s shooting woes, Deery was pleased with the team’s shot selection throughout the game.

“Our game plan was to shoot the ball,” Deery said. “We’re a pretty good shooting team. We have a lot of players that can hit those shots for us, we work on it in practice. I really didn’t see a bad shot, they were all right there.”

Rangeley will be losing just two seniors, including Celia Philbrick, who led the Lakers with 11 points on Thursday.

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Leaning on the outside shooting game worked well in the Richmond girls basketball team’s first two games against Old Orchard Beach. In Thursday’s semifinal, a 38-24 defeat, it was a different story.

“When we played them the first time, it was a close game, it was a battle all the way out,” coach Mike Ladner said. “And when we played them down there, we beat them by 15. But we also hit six 3-pointers down there.”

The third time was anything but the charm. Richmond’s Mackenzie Abbott hit a 3-pointer with 33 seconds left in the first quarter to give her team an 11-8 lead, but the Bobcats couldn’t connect again from long range until 3:25 remained and the game, at 37-20, was out of reach.

“Today, I think we hit one? Our outside shot wasn’t falling,” Ladner said.

Making things more difficult was that the Seagulls made it a point to neutralize center Sydney Underhill-Tilton, forcing the Bobcats to rely on a shooting touch that had gone ice cold.

“They did a really good job of taking Syd away between their double- and triple-teaming most of the game,” Ladner said. “They’ve got two or three big girls, they’re all taller than ours, and they did a good job. They went straight up, they weren’t committing a lot of fouls.”

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