AUGUSTA — Monmouth Academy has an inside track to another regional final as the No. 2 seed in the Class C South girls basketball playoff bracket.

The Mustangs took the first step to getting there by going inside — again, and again, and again.

Post players Destiny Clough, Abbey Allen and Kaeti Butterfield all scored in double figures in a 58-37 victory over St. Dominic Academy at the Augusta Civic Center on Tuesday.

Clough helped get the Mustangs (18-1) going, scoring eight points in the first quarter to equal the No. 10 Saints’ (11-9) team total. She had a game-tying layup underneath to tie the game 8-8, then followed Allen’s steal and layup with one of her own to force St. Dom’s coach Chris Marston to call a timeout five minutes into the game.

“We really had to put it to them, and we really just had to come out and just really get things going and control the game,” Clough said.

The Mustangs closed out the first quarter on a 10-0 run after the Saints opened up leads of 5-2 and 8-6. The Saints pulled within three on multiple occasions in the second quarter, but couldn’t get any closer. Monmouth closed out the first half on a 10-2 run, capped off by an Allen put-back with four seconds left to make it 29-18.


“When you have a run like that it kind of demoralizes the other team sometimes,” Monmouth coach Scott Wing said. “And that’s what we talk about all the time, meet those milestones — get it to 10, get it to 15, get it to 20, get it to 25, 30 maybe, if you can — because every single one of those little milestones that you open up a lead, it just puts so much more pressure on the other team, and they obviously have to start doing things that they didn’t want to do.”

Aside from steals like the ones by Allen and Clough and a few others, Marston said the Mustangs’ press didn’t affect his team too much in the first half. His team’s inability to capitalize on fastbreak opportunities — there were multiple missed layups — did, however.

“More so (the press) wore us down,” Marston said.

Which is Wing’s reasoning for using it.

“We just press all the time anyway because, where we play so many kids, that we just figure we’re going to wear other teams out,” Wing said. “That’s the main reason we press. If we get steals out of it, we get steals out of it. But usually it’s just a 32-minute game where we just wear teams out.”

The Mustangs’ inside game also wore down the Saints. Many of Clough, Allen and Butterfield’s field goals and free throws came on second chances.


“We controlled the boards a lot, especially offensively,” Clough said.

Caroline Gastonguay converted a three-point play to open the scoring in the third quarter and cut the deficit back to single digits (29-21), but a long 2-pointer by Hannah Anderson — who also scored in double figures, with 15 points — made it 35-21 and made Marston call another timeout.

The lead was 42-26 heading into the fourth quarter and only continued to grow. Clough, who didn’t score in the second or third quarters, poured in seven in the final frame to finish with 15 points. Allen and Butterfield each had 11.

“The inside play was excellent today,” Wing said.

The quartet of double-digit scorers countered the Saints holding Mustang senior guard Tia Day to just two points — a pair of fourth-quarter free throws.

“Tia scored two points, and any time you hold her to two you think you’re going to be in it, and it just shows you how good and how deep they are,” Marston said.

Gastonguay and sophomore Becca Zimmerman both scored 14 points for the Saints.

The Mustangs’ immediate future now features a regional semifinal showdown with No. 6 Richmond, which beat No. 3 Old Orchard Beach earlier Tuesday. The Mustangs beat the Bobcats twice during the regular season, by 15 and 20 points.

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