MONMOUTH — Two teams, one single moment. For the Monmouth Academy girls basketball team, it had that old familiar feeling.

The No. 6 Mustangs jumped out to a quick start and rode a near double-double effort from senior Kaeti Butterfield, holding on for a 41-30 win over No. 11 Carrabec in a Class C South preliminary round game Tuesday and punching their ticket to the regional quarterfinals next week. Monmouth (15-4) will meet No. 3 North Yarmouth Academy in the next round.

Butterfield, who finished with a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds, said Monmouth’s prior tournament experience made it more than comfortable in an ugly game that featured turnovers and fouls by the dozens.

“We’ve been in this situation before — me, Abby Ferland, Julia Johnson,” Butterfield said. “We’ve all been in this situation. It’s not really nervousness, it’s more excitement for us because we know what’s ahead of us.”

The same couldn’t be said for Carrabec (7-12), which had won three straight and four out of five to close the regular season.

“I think the moment was a little too big for us, and we struggled a little bit,” Carrabec coach Skip Rugh said. “This one hurts a little, because we had our opportunities. We just didn’t capitalize on them.”

Monmouth opened the game on a 10-0 run, using its defense to force the Cobras into 10 first-quarter turnovers. Carrabec turned the ball over on each of its first five possessions of the night and six of its first eight overall.

“We had to work hard,” Monmouth coach Rick Larrabee said. “We talked before the game about if we could make (Carrabec) work for 30 seconds, 45 seconds, a minute at a time, we were going to wear them down slowly over the course of the game and we’d find our points somewhere.”

“We did the same thing, we came down here last time and dug a hole,” Rugh said. “You can’t do that against a good team. You’ve got to come out ready to go.”

Butterfield scored eight of her 21 in the opening quarter — with a sign of what was to come in the second half. Six of those came from the free throw line for the inside-outside threat, who connected on a pair of second-half 3-pointers.

“We kind of live by our defense,” Butterfield said. “Our offense comes from our defense. When we play tough defense, it leads into our offense and everything falls into place. When we start hitting our shots, and we start making some free throws, it gets everybody on a roll.”

The Mustangs took a 10-point lead into halftime and opened the third period with a 7-0 run. The Cobras, led by freshman Cheyenne Cahill’s team-high 15 points, pulled back to within 11 by the end of the quarter but could get no closer.

As a team, Monmouth went 16 of 18 from the free throw line, including two key ones late in regulation from Libby Clement.

“Our last five or six games of the season were like this, so our girls were ramping up for tournament play,” Larrabee said. “We know if we can get to the line, we’re going to manufacture some points. We’re willing to be patient on offense and look for that cut or that post so we can get to the line.”

Audrey Fletcher added nine points for Monmouth, while Clement finished with six.

Carrabec’s Brooke Welch scored six in the loss.

The game was delayed briefly following a timeout with 2:02 remaining, when Carrabec freshman Aislinn Slate (three points) fell to the floor. She walked off the court gingerly, but under her own power.

“That was basically only her second varsity game. She really worked hard,” Rugh said. “She came out and played hard, and to see that out of her was really good.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.