AUGUSTA — The third time was the charm for the Forest Hills girls basketball team.

In its third meeting this season — both losses to Valley — No. 4 Forest Hills managed to upend the No. 1 Cavaliers 34-29 in a Class D semifinal Thursday morning at the Augusta Civic Center.

The Tigers (13-7) will meet No. 3 Seacoast Christian in the D South final on Saturday. Valley finishes 14-2.

“It’s crazy,” Forest Hills forward Grace Allen said. “It’s awesome (to win). It’s empowering. I don’t know, it’s just amazing.”

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Forest Hills head coach Bob Manix said. “First-year head coach, they put a lot of work in. These girls were (in the gym) every day, shooting foul shots, doing layups, working out.  They’re just a completely different team than they were last year. I couldn’t be more proud of where we are.”

Allen led Forest Hills with 11 points, while Kylie Yu and Peyton Chaisson each added eight points. Valley was led by Madeline Hill, who had 15 points and five rebounds, and Brielle Hill, who scored nine points and had eight rebounds.


Valley beat Forest Hils 70-46 on Dec. 21 and 49-34 on Jan. 4.

“We changed up a lot of offense and defense,” Manix said. “We tried a bunch of things, stole some of (Forest Hills boys coach Anthony Amero’s) stuff, figured that’s a good team to steal some (stuff from). We used that to change up our style. They went at it 100 miles an hour and left their hearts out on the court and let me coach with my head. I think that’s what led us to where we are today.”

Forest Hills’ Hailey Welch chases the ball through Valley’s defense during a Class D South girls basketball semifinal Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

“I think we came out aggressive,” Allen said. “That was the key, just coming out aggressive and staying aggressive. In the beginning of the season, we came out flat at times. That threw us off, because (Valley) would get a bigger lead in the beginning. Once we picked up, it was going, going, going. We just came out aggressive and that was a big factor.”

Neither team gained much ground on each other in the first half, though Forest Hills managed a 6-0 run to take a 14-11 halftime lead.

The Tigers managed another 6-0 run to start the second half, but the Cavaliers picked up their scoring. Thanks to a five-point swing by Madeline Hill late in the third, Forest Hills held a 23-22 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Despite a frantic attempt at a comeback, with Madeline Hill and Brielle Hill combining for seven points, Chaisson helped seal the game for the Tigers, sc0ring six of her eight points in the final period.

“All day long, we couldn’t make shots,” Valley head coach Gordon Hartwell said. “We had good looks, we had layups, we just couldn’t make shots. Every time we got momentum, we turned the ball over… Quite honestly, I think a little bit of our youth was a little bit overwhelmed. Losing last year and not getting on the court figured in. (Forest Hills) was aggressive. They made shots down the stretch and made plays down the stretch. Not that we didn’t have plenty of opportunities, but sometimes that’s the way it is when you have a young group.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.