Richmond’s Lindsie Irish dives to get a hand on the ball as Old Orchard Beach’s Gabriella Gagne tries to maintain possession during a Class C South quarterfinal game Tuesday at the Augusta Civic Center. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy Buy this Photo

AUGUSTA — His team had already handled Richmond twice. And Old Orchard Beach girls basketball coach Dean Plante was confident the narrative wasn’t going to change much in the third contest.

The fifth-seeded Seagulls took control early and never let it go, riding 19 points from freshman Elise MacNair to a 45-24 win over No. 13 Richmond in the Class C South quarterfinals at the Augusta Civic Center Tuesday night.

“Honestly, that game went exactly how we kind of expected it to,” said Plante, whose team beat Richmond first 48-29 in December and then 54-25 in January. “We’re not the same team we were when we played them in January. We’ve kind of developed roles and I think we’ve become more efficient.”

The Seagulls (15-5) certainly looked the part Tuesday, taking over a game that began with Richmond (8-12) taking a quick 3-2 lead on a Macy Carver free throw. Over the next 10 minutes, Old Orchard Beach went on a 23-1 run, eventually taking a 23-4 lead on a MacNair 3-pointer, one of five the Seagulls hit in the first half.

During the run, Richmond went nine minutes and 26 seconds without a point, and the drought without a field goal stretched to 13 minutes and 50 seconds. The Bobcats couldn’t hit from the field, and struggled mightily against Old Orchard Beach’s stifling press.

“We pride ourselves on preparing, and the girls do a very good job of paying attention and getting scouts down and understanding personnel,” said Plante, whose team was up 26-6 at the half and 36-7 after three quarters. “I think it’s as important as scheme sometimes, is understanding who you’re playing. And they took away their strengths and frustrated them.”

The Bobcats needed to protect the ball to have a chance at the upset. Instead, with 17 first-half turnovers, Richmond was buried early.

“They’re a tough matchup, and they had our number again today,” said coach Mike Ladner, whose team was led by 10 points and nine rebounds from Bryanne Lancaster. “I preached that in the pre-game, if we wanted success, we must protect the basketball. And we didn’t. … And even when we were able to break the press, we weren’t getting good, quality shots.”

Richmond held junior guard Shani Plante to six points, but the beneficiary was MacNair, who had 15 of her points through the first three quarters.

“It was a really awesome experience,” said MacNair, who also added seven rebounds. “Obviously there are nerves there from playing in a facility like this, but honestly, me and my teammates were hyped from the get-go. And we wanted it, we really did.”

Richmond, which was looking to continue its underdog run after upsetting No. 4 St. Dominic in the preliminary round, also got six rebounds from Kara Briand. The Bobcats couldn’t keep the run going in the Civic Center, but Ladner said the loss will be a growing experience for his team, which returns 10 of 13 players, including five freshmen.

“(With) all the adversity we have dealt with this year, the sickness and the injuries and everything, to end up the way we did, I’m pleased with these girls,” Ladner said. “We’re young. The future looks good.”

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