Fifth-seeded Kennebunk had its game going and fourth-ranked Leavitt struggled from the outset Friday night as the Rams rolled to a 72-55 victory in the Class A South quarterfinals at the Portland Expo.

Kennebunk (15-4) advanced to meet top-ranked Greely (16-3) in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Kennebunk has not been to the CIA/Civic Center for a playoff game since reaching the quarterfinals in 2006 and 2007.

Max Murray, contending with a bad cold, scored 14 of his team-high 20 points in the first half as Kennebunk took leads of 23-10 after a quarter and 43-21 at the half, and put on a fast-break clinic.

“We went back to what we’ve done all season. We run and we push the ball,” said Kennebunk Coach David Leal. “We made our shots when they counted. Max Murray played great in that first half and he’s as sick as a dog.”

With Murray, a 6-foor-4 junior, leading the effort on the defensive boards, the Rams ran at every opportunity, once connecting to Murray after a rare Leavitt basket.

“They did a good job of leaking guys out and they rebounded pretty well tonight, probably better than I’ve seen,” said Leavitt Coach Mike Hathaway.

Kennebunk shot 19 of 32 in the first half with everyone contributing. Murray powered inside and hung above attempted shot blocks. Zack Sullivan ran the court and hit a 3-pointer for nine of his 11 points in the first quarter. Leavitt chose to leave Tripp Bush unguarded and he hit two 3s in the first quarter.

Leavitt (15-4), a young team making its first playoff appearance at the Expo since 2012, shot 8 of 29 (1 of 8 on 3-pointers) in the first half.

“Hopefully next year when we’re back, that experience will help us and we’ll be a little more prepared coming in,” Hathaway said.

In the third quarter, Leavitt cut the lead to 16 points only to have Cam Lovejoy hit a deep 3 to stop the rally and two more fast-break buckets pushed the lead to 59-36 entering the fourth. Lovejoy, Kennebunk’s leading scorer as a sophomore and junior, didn’t look for his own shot in the first half. He scored 11 of his 14 points in the second.

“Everybody can shoot. Everybody can drive. Everyone passes,” Lovejoy said. “I don’t know how we would personally guard our own team because there’s so many weapons that we have.”

With Bush the primary defender, Kennebunk held the Hornets’ leading scorer, Wyatt Hathaway (23.2 ppg), to nine points. Hathaway had to be taken off the court in obvious pain with five minutes left in the game after a hard fall while converting a layup in traffic. Joziah Learned led Leavitt with 12 points. Joshua Banks, Leavitt’s lone senior starter, scored 11.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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