Leading by only two points at halftime, the girls’ basketball players for Marshwood High didn’t need a big speech to get them going. They knew the stakes in Monday afternoon’s Class A South quarterfinal against York.

“We realized this could be our last game ever,” said senior guard Natalie Herbold. “We knew we had to get going, come out as strong as ever. And I think that’s what we did.”

Herbold played a big role, scoring seven consecutive points in the third quarter, as third-seeded Marshwood pulled away for a 59-37 victory at the Portland Expo. The Hawks outscored the Wildcats by 20 points in the second half.

“Obviously we have a little more depth then them and a little more experience,” said Marshwood coach Steve Freeman. “I thought we did a much better job defensively in the second half trying to take away what they wanted to do.

“We were concerned. They’ve beaten some pretty good teams and we knew they could beat us if we didn’t play well. That was a great second half.”

Marshwood (15-4) will play No. 2 Brunswick in the regional semifinal at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Cross Insurance Arena. No. 6 York finished 8-11, with three of the losses to the Hawks.

“The girls got a little tired, we were asking a lot of them,” said York coach Steve Freeman, the father of Marshwood’s coach. “We’re nowhere as deep and he was able to run his platoons … When you’re fatigued, you’re a half-second late, a half-step late and that’s all it takes. And they took advantage of it.”

Marshwood was led by Angelina Bisson with 18 points, while Courtney Thim had a career-high 14 and Herbold added 11. York was led by Jacquelyn Tabora with 13 points and Nina Howe with eight.
The Hawks led by 23-21 at the end of the first half and it was still only 28-26 after Howe hit three foul shots with 4:58 left in the third. Then Herbold hit two shots from the left of the lane. After York’s Rose Pavuk scored, Herbold hit a 3-pointer from the right wing and it was 35-28. “She gave us life we needed,” said Bisson. “And it finally got us going, on track for the win.”

A basket by Kayla Goodwin and two foul shots by Bisson made it 39-28. York would get no closer than seven the rest of the way as the Hawks kept pushing the tempo. The Hawks outscored York 36-16 in the second half.

“We’re one of those teams where all it takes is for us to hit one 3 and it gets everybody going,” said Marshwood’s Steve Freeman. “It’s amazing, making a shot or two gets everyone going.”

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