AUGUSTA — Audrey Bowman wasn’t quite sure how to explain it. She only knew how she felt in the aftermath.

“It feels great,” Bowman said after scoring a team-high 12 points to lead the Camden Hills girls basketball team to its first win of the season with a 51-46 victory over Cony in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A contest Tuesday night.

“We’ve been working hard, and we’ve played some close games. It definitely feels good.”

The Windjammers (1-8) erased a six-point halftime deficit with a 12-2 run to close out the third quarter before holding the Rams (3-7) to just seven fourth-period points.

Camden Hills coach Kim Kuhn pointed to her team’s defensive effort as the difference.

“We took care of the ball a little bit better and started locking in on the defensive end,” Kuhn said. “In the first half, it really killed us. But in the second half we just locked in.”

That defense turned into offense at the other end of the floor. Bailey Curtis scored nine points in the win, eight of them after halftime, and senior Kaylyn Krul added eight points. Six of her points came after the break.

Cony, meanwhile, shot a respectable 36 percent from the floor through the first 16 minutes. And when junior guard Julia Reny rattled off nine straight points for the Rams to build a 37-29 lead — Cony’s largest of the night — with 3:16 left in the third quarter, it appeared the hosts were on pace for the victory.

Reny finished with a game-high 17 points, but Cony made just two field goals the remainder of the way as Camden Hills hit its collective stride.

“We went away from a lot of things we were doing well,” Cony coach Adam Rich said. “Then we kind of just packed it in, like we were going to coast, and that wasn’t going to happen. Against a team that’s 0-8 and struggling to find its identity, that’s not going to happen.

“Playing with a lead is not something we’re accustomed to. They get a little bit into what I call ‘panic mode,’ where we make a great play but then throw the ball away and do two bad things after. That’s kind of where we’re at mentally as a group.”

Curtis hit a shot to tie the game at 39-39 in the final minute of the third period and Ella Power’s baseline jumper with 17 seconds on the clock gave Camden its first lead since the opening minute of the contest.

Bowman was a crucial part of Camden Hills’ full-court pressure in the second half. She grabbed four rebounds.

“We typically haven’t scored a lot, but in the third quarter we’ve been able to score some points,” Bowman said. “But, honestly, for me, it wasn’t until the last two seconds. That’s when I knew we had it.”

“We’re just so young right now, but we’re putting it together,” Kuhn said. “Our seniors were out there showing us how to win tonight. We’ve got a lot of ball left… and we’ve got a shot. I like our squad.”

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