AUGUSTA — The Valley girls basketball team departed the Civic Center on Saturday knowing it can play much better than it did against familiar foe Forest Hills in a Class D South quarterfinal.

The good thing for the No. 3 Cavaliers?

They will get that opportunity.

Freshman Logan McDonald scored a game-high 15 points and Emily Collins added 11 as Valley surged past sixth-seeded Forest Hills 39-24.

McDonald also pulled down 10 rebounds.

“The bus left at 6:45 a.m. and when we got here we had to get over the morning-wakeness thing,” Collins said. “We just had to get out of it, and then we did. We started to execute and do what we wanted to do.”

Valley (9-10) will play No. 2 Rangeley in the regional semifinals at 10 a.m., Thursday.

Taylor Fountaine scored seven points for Forest Hills (8-10).

Turnovers, early shooting woes and sluggish play hampered both teams early, but the Cavs used a strong inside-out game to pull away in the second quarter.

Valley led just 13-9 when Fountaine scored early in the quarter, but then it closed the half on a 12-3 run.

Brielle Hill sparked the run with a basket before Jillian Miller hit a pull-up jumper. A Rianna Davis fastbreak layup and a McDonald inside basket pushed the lead to 25-10.

“That put us in the driver’s seat,” McDonald said. “That put us in control.”

It also helped quell some early nerves. While McDonald practiced with the Cavaliers as an eighth-grader last year, she didn’t get into a tournament game.

That changed Saturday.

“Yeah, I was nervous,” she said. “It was pretty crazy and awesome. But after the opening tip, I started to settle in.”

Added Miller: “We wanted to get the ball inside, to move them around a little bit. We started to execute that very well.

Valley coach Paul Belanger acknowledged the slow start Saturday, but said he was confident his team would start executing the inside-out game plan.

“It took us awhile to get going,” he said. “But once we started hitting some foul line jumpers, it just opened everything up for us inside. We started to take control. But once we got a big lead I kept telling the girls not to sit on it.

“We couldn’t let (Forest Hills) shoot their way back into it.”

The Tigers — who dressed several eighth-graders and made just one of their 15 free throw attempts — never got closer than 14 points the rest of the way.

McDonald scored six points — all off inside baskets — early in the third before Collins drained a 3-pointer to push Valley’s lead to 35-14.

“We’re really young and have a lot of eighth-graders,” Forest Hills coach Steven Calderon said. “We had a deer-in-the-headlight look at times. You could see them shaking like leaves a little bit, but that’s OK. It was good to get here and get the experience.”

Savannah Farmer scored six points for Valley and Miller had eight rebounds.

Fountaine also had 11 rebounds for the Tigers.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.