Monmouth Academy has enjoyed success against taller opponents of late. The Mustangs knocked off Boothbay and its pair of six-footers in the semifinals of the Class C South tournament last week and followed that by taking care of Old Orchard and two more taller players in the regional finals.

Saturday, they’ll be tested once again when they take on the Dexter Tigers and center Megan Peach, who is listed between 6 feet and 6-foot-2 depending where one looks.

“She’s closer to six feet,” Dexter coach Jody Grant said. “Every program in America lies.”

No matter her height, Peach can play. She averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds in the regular season and was named North tournament MVP after scoring 19 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking four shots in the final against No. 2 George Stevens. She finished the three games with 61 points and 49 rebounds.

“She’s really developed her game,” said Grant of his four-year starter. “She’s a very good shooter and good with either hand.”

Monmouth coach Scott Wing hopes to counter Peach by using a variety of players against her throughout the game. The Mustangs also enjoyed success against Old Orchard by taking the ball to the basket and getting its players in foul trouble.

“She’s obviously going to be the focus,” Wing said. “They’ll be three or four different people on her. (Stopping her) will be one of our main goals.”

Although Monmouth (18-3) was considered one of the favorites in the Class C South tournament, Dexter (15-6) came into the North tourney as the fifth seed. The Tigers proceeded to knock off No. 4 Madawaska, No. 1 Stearns and No. 2 George Stevens. Grant is pleased with the results but not totally surprised.

“We legitimately felt we had a chance,” he said. “After the quarterfinal (win) we said ‘don’t be satisfied,’ ”

Grant cites his team’s schedule, which included four games against Class B opponents, as a reason for his team’s readiness. The Tigers also handed top-seeded Stearns its only loss of the regular season.

The Tigers start four seniors and a junior, including point guard Abby Webber, who was named to the all-tournament team. Webber took over at the point after the team’s regular point guard tore her ACL during the summer.

“She has filled in admirably,” Grant said, adding Webber is headed to the University of Maine to play field hockey next fall.

Both Webber and fellow senior Danielle Cunningham averaged eight points a game this season while senior Ashley Reynolds and junior Kaitlyn Webber round out the starting five. The 5-10 Rebecca Batro provides a spark off the bench.

The Tigers held 11 of their opponents this season to fewer than 30 points, five of those under 20. Part of that is due to strong defense and part to controlling the pace.

“I don’t think we’re an up-tempo team,” Grant said. “We want to play at our own pace.”

The Mustangs like to press and utilize their depth and would like nothing better than a fast-paced, high-scoring game.

“We want to go up and down just to make them go a little bit faster,” Wing said. “If we can get the game into the high 40s or 50s it will be to our advantage.”

Point guard Tia Day, who averages 12.9 points a game, is a long-range shooter who made 51 3-pointers in the regular season. She’s just as effective as a passer and playmaker, having averaged 4.7 assists and 4.8 steals a contest. Abbey Allen came on strong after midseason and has averaged nine points and eight rebounds a game while Hannah Anderson, Abby Ferland and Kaeti Butterfield are also key scorers.

“There’s a whole slew of them that score four or five points a game,” Wing said.

The Mustangs don’t have a senior while Dexter has six. The Tigers also have some history on their side, having won states titles with Grant at the helm in 2004 and 2006. Monmouth has appeared in four state championship games, all in Class D, but has never won a Gold Ball. Wing isn’t worried about his team’s relative youth since they’ve played a number of key games.

“These kids have so much experience,” he said.”They’re just mentally solid kids.”

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