AUGUSTA — Tough defense. Unselfish offense.

Both helped get the Rangeley girls basketball team the No. 1 seed in the Class D South tournament.

It’s also what the Lakers used to vanquish Seacoast Christian, 56-23, in a quarterfinal game Saturday morning at the Augusta Civic Center.

Rangeley (18-1) will next play No. 4 Valley (10-9) in the semifinals Wednesday. The Guardians finished 2-17.

Rangeley featured several players who finished with double-digit scoring. Brooke Egan took over the opening portion of the contest, scoring 10 of her 12 points in the first half. Freshman forward Winnie LaRochelle took over as the finisher, scoring 10 of her game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter alone. Olivia Pye rounded out the scoring for the Lakers with 10 points.

“Those three have been doing it for us all year,” Rangeley head coach Heidi Deery said. “I kind of had a little chat with (LaRochelle), going ‘OK, come on, you’ve got to ball-fake inside.’… I felt like once she was turning and facing (the basket) and taking the lane and ball-faking, that’s her game.”

The Lakers were just as tough on the defensive end of the floor, forcing 34 turnovers.

“Throughout the season, we’ve been really focusing on playing team defense,” Egan said. “We’re going to get those 30-plus turnovers by playing good team defense and working together.”

After trading early baskets, Rangeley took the game over with a 14-0 run that stretched over six minutes between the first and second quarters. They added an 8-0 run over the final four minutes of the second quarter to take a comfortable 30-13 halftime lead.

“It took a little bit for us to get settled in,” Egan said. “Offensive patience helped us, especially with their zone (defense).”

Each team had struggles with ball control in the third quarter, but Rangeley put the game away in the fourth, outscoring Seacoast Christian by a 20-6 margin.

The Guardians showed fight throughout the contest, and had an advantage at times on the boards.

“I wasn’t happy with our defensive rebounding at all,” Deery said.

The fouls and turnovers were just too much to overcome for the Guardians. Two of Seacoast Christian’s top players — forward Abigail Wirling and guard Katie Pilkington — each fouled out within the final four minutes of the game. Pilkington led the Guardians with 12 points.

It also didn’t help that LaRochelle became a force down low in the fourth quarter, sealing the game for the Lakers.

“It’s great seeing Winnie get those rebounds,” Egan said. “Just being really strong inside, ball-faking, trying to get that basket and foul after (the basket).”

Rangeley took advantage of Seacoast Christian’s foul trouble, going 15 of 18 (89 percent) at the foul line.

Dave Dyer — 621-5640
Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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