AUGUSTA — A new champion will be crowned in Class C girls basketball.

After back-to-back championship seasons, the Monmouth girls basketball team fell 52-35 to North Yarmouth Academy  in the quarterfinal round Tuesday morning at the Augusta Civic Center.

It was a rollercoaster of a season for No. 6 Monmouth (14-5), which added head coach Rick Larrabee near the beginning of the regular season after the school dismissed Scott Wing back in November.

“I’m very proud (of the team),” Larrabee said. “We had a very tough preseason, a very tough first four games of the season, we started the season out 1-3. People didn’t think we were going to be as successful as we were, because when you lose Tia Day, Abbey Allen and Hannah Anderson, that’s like, 90 percent of your offense and defense. My stud big (player), Destiny Clough, tears her (anterior cruciate ligament in her knee) in soccer, so all I have is one starter coming back. They all had to adjust to new roles. Plus, with me coming in a week before the season started, things just didn’t match up at the beginning. It took time. People don’t understand that it takes time. People want wins and efficiency right away.”

The No. 3 Panthers (15-4) move onto the semifinals to play No. 2 Winthrop on Wednesday.

A strong zone defense by NYA made post play nearly impossible for the Mustangs, who instead focused on perimeter shooting. Monmouth attempted 27 3-pointers in the contest, connecting on six.

NYA took advantage of the shooting struggles, making quick transition baskets, led by senior guard Catherine Reid.

Reid — who formerly played at the Maine Girls Academy in Portland and transferred to NYA after the school closed last year — had a game-high 27 points.

“Once we settled in and the nerves were gone, I think we realized we could (win),” Reid said. “This gives us confidence.”

Monmouth jumped out to an 11-4 first-quarter lead, thanks to 3-pointers by Julia Johnson and Kaeti Butterfield. But the Panthers made up for their slow start in the second quarter. NYA went on a 12-0 run in the final five minutes of the half, led by Reid, who had 12 points in the quarter alone. The Panthers entered halftime with a 24-15 lead.

“It was a rough start,” NYA coach Thomas Robinson said. “Started in (man-to-man defense) and then quickly switched to zone. It worked out well, we got a lot of transition baskets out of it.”

Reid led the offensive onslaught for the Panthers again in the third quarter, adding another eight points. Monmouth, which only scored four points in the second quarter, continued to have shooting woes, scoring just six points in the third.

The Mustangs fought back in the fourth quarter, outscoring NYA 13-10, but the Panthers’ lead was too much to overcome.

“Were were trying to just man up, and play man-to-man, like in any other game,” Butterfield said. “We couldn’t do anything specific, because we had never seen them before. We definitely knew we had some advantages over them as far as playoff experience — none of them had played on this floor before…I think we just didn’t capitalize on the things that we should have. We let them get away and we started to give up a little bit. Overall, I think we did well to prepare for them, I just don’t think we executed it well.”

Abby Ferland led Monmouth with 12 points. Johnson added nine. While Reid was the workhorse for NYA, Maggie Larson and Serena Mower each added eight points.

Dating back to the 2011 season, this is the furthest the Panthers have reached in the Class C South playoffs. The Mustangs last loss in the quarterfinal round was in 2015.


Dave Dyer — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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