AUGUSTA — The Temple girls basketball team shook off a slow start to the season — it dropped four of its first six games — to snare the No. 3 seed in the Class D South tournament.

“We had a slow start to the season and, for whatever reason, we sometimes start slow in games,” Temple first-year coach Joe Rossignol said.

So it came as little to no surprise that the Bereans started slow Saturday morning in a Class D South quarterfinal game with Islesboro. And it was also of little surprise that they took control late to grab a 56-32 victory at the Augusta Civic Center.

Temple sophomore Deleyni Carr led the way — like she has for much of this season — with a game-high 23 points. Daphne Labbe scored 10 points to go along with as many rebounds for Temple (12-7), which wore down depleted Islesboro.

The Eagles (4-10), who finished the game with just four players on the floor because of injuries and foul trouble, received a strong game from Keisha Scott (18 points).

TURNING POINT: Temple led just 22-20 at the half but outscored the Eagles 18-7 in the third quarter. Carr got it going, scoring seven points in the quarter, including a 3-pointer, a fastbreak layup and an offensive rebound putback.

“We went out and were confident,” Carr said. “We put it all together and played well offensively and defensively.”

The Bereans held the Eagles without a field goal in the quarter.

PRESSING MATTER: The Bereans opened with a full-court press and stayed with it throughout.

“We knew we’d have a lot of legs so we could run it,” Rossignol said. “We wanted to run. We wait and see how they try and break it and then we lock in.”

The Eagles handled the pressure well early with good help and quick passes. They jumped out to a 6-0 lead before the Bereans fought back to tie it at 12.

Fatigue, however, ultimately did in Islesboro.

“We just got tired,” said Scott, who scored 12 of her 18 points in the first half. “But we played with them.”

PLAYING SHORTHANDED: The Eagles came to the Civic Center with just six players, although Sophia Lau wasn’t expected to play because of a knee injury suffered late in the season.

But she entered the game with 5:53 left in the third quarter when Rylee Sienkiewicz fouled out.

The team finished the game with four players on the floor after Scott suffered a right ankle injury in the fourth quarter and had to be helped off the Civic Center floor.

“We really only had five players,” Scott said. “We knew it was going to be tough. It was a huge deal for us to be here but we started to get tired.”

Added Rossignol: “They didn’t have any bench to speak of. We figured in the third and fourth quarters we could pull away.”

PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME: Carr did most of the scoring damage, with a trio of 3-pointers coming at opportune times. Her first came with 1:45 left in the second quarter to give her team a 19-18 lead. She closed the half with her second three that put Temple up 22-20. Her final long-range shot came midway through the third that extended Temple’s lead to 29-23.

Labbe, a senior captain, controlled the post on both ends.

“We played well,” she said. “We were a little nervous but we were very excited for (Saturday’s) game.”

UP NEXT: Temple will play either No 2 Rangeley (16-2) or No. 7 Pine Tree Academy (5-13) in a semifinal game at 10 a.m. Thursday. The Lakers and Breakers will play their quarterfinal Monday.

Rossignol said he wouldn’t mind another crack at the Lakers, who sank the Bereans 69-32 and 41-34.

“We’ve love to see them again,” he said.

Bill Stewart — 621-5618

[email protected]

Twitter: @bstewartmtm

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