PORTLAND — Maranacook coach Karen Magnusson used three of five allotted timeouts in the first quarter, but nothing could stop top-seeded Gray-New Gloucester in Tuesday’s Class B South girls’ basketball quarterfinal.

The Patriots took a double-digit lead by the time Magnusson used her second timeout, and then got up by 20 in the second quarter on their way to a 61-27 victory at the Portland Expo.

“They’re athletic. They ran the floor tremendously well. They were the best transitioning team that we’ve played all year,” Magnusson said. “And for us, I mean, it’s hard I guess coming in playoffs on (the Class B South) side because we don’t play anybody. So everybody that we play, it’s the first time we’ve played them. But they’re definitely No. 1 for a reason.”

Gray-New Gloucester (17-2) scored the game’s first six points (four straight by Eliza Hotham before dishing to Jordan Grant on the third field goal), forcing Magnusson to use her first timeout three minutes into the game.

“You know, Eliza was a starter last year for us, and it was kind of a growing year for her a year ago,” Patriots coach Mike Andreasen said. “And this year she’s just a much more confident young lady. And so to have her go out and just to get good results from the first time down was really big for her tonight.”

Gabrielle Green made a fall-away shot out of the timeout to get the ninth-seeded Black Bears (10-10) on the board, but the Patriots answered with an 8-0 run, including Bri Jordan’s four-point play that preceded Magnusson’s second timeout four minutes into the game.

“I mean, I had to call those. If not, those runs would have been a lot longer,” Magnusson said. “I don’t remember what it was at the first quarter, but it was just trying to keep the game close. But also just let the girls know we’re OK, and then just try to keep them focused on what we needed to do.”

The Patriots got up by as much as 18-4 in the opening period before Maranacook’s Anna Drillen hit a 3-pointer to complete the scoring in the quarter.

“Traditionally, this year we haven’t gotten off to good starts. We’ve been very close after a quarter, and when we do spurt it usually tends to be the second quarter,” Andreasen said. “And today was nice … to just get a little bit of breathing room. And at that point you can dictate that tempo of the game.

“We know that Maranacook is good in a half-court offense, and we didn’t want them to slow the game down and become a half-court game.”

Grace Despres opened the second with a layup for Maranacook, but the Patriots responded with a 13-3 run to end the period. Jordan added six points in the quarter to give her 10 in the first half.

“If Bri didn’t score a point for us she’d still be like ‘the player’ for us because everything else she does. When she’s scoring baskets too, boy — and it seems to be baskets at key times,” Andreasen said.

The Black Bears again scored the first points of the third quarter, on a Drillen basket, but Sam Fortin sandwiched a pair of field goals around a Jordan Grant layup to give the Patriots a 37-14 lead. Magnusson then used her final timeout with 5:13 still left in the third.

Maranacook tried ending the third quarter on a high note. Grace Dwyer drilled a trey with less than 30 seconds left in the period, but Jordan answered with a buzzer-beating 3 to send the game into the fourth with the Patriots up 46-19. That completed Jordan’s scoring at 16 points. Jordan Grant added a basket in the fourth to equal that total.

Hotham added 10 for the Patriots, who advance to a semifinal matchup with No. 5 Wells.

Drillen paced the Black Bears with seven points, and Despres added six. It was Despres’ final game, but she’s one of only two seniors on Maranacook, which is hoping to use Tuesday’s game as something to build on for the program.

“I mean, obviously you want to win, but for our program it was more of — and one of the girls said it right before the game — to try to put a mark back on Maranacook,” Magnusson said. “So that was kind of the talk at half is, ‘What do we want to leave? And how do we want people to view us?’ And I hope after that game they think, ‘Wow, they’re going to be good!’ … We hope to come back next year with a bigger seed and a little more experience, and hopefully give a better game.”

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