AUGUSTA — The Seacoast Six rides again.

No. 3 Seacoast Christian, with just six players, completed a perfect regional tournament Saturday afternoon, using a career-high 37 points from junior Ellie Leech to post a 63-52 win over top-seeded Valley in the Class D South final at the Augusta Civic Center. Senior Breckyn Winship added 21 more, as both players finished with double-doubles.

The Guardians (12-9) will meet Southern Aroostook in the Class D state championship game for a second straight season. Southern Aroostook (18-3), which is making its fifth consecutive appearance in the Class D final, buried Seacoast Christian 58-18in the state game last season.

“That was what we needed today,” said Leech, who finished with 17 rebounds. “We needed scoring, and that’s what Coach asked me to do. He said I was going to have a monster game, so that’s what I went out and did.”

“She burned us,” Valley coach Gordon Hartwell added. “When somebody puts 37 on you, nobody can say you’re not solid.”

Seacoast trailed 16-11 after the first quarter, despite grabbing the early 5-0 lead.

Leech started to heat up in the second quarter with nine points to send the game into the break at 28-27 in favor of Valley, but it was the guard’s third-quarter that opened things up.

Leech shot 5 of 8 from the floor and finished with 14 points in the period, part of an 11-2 run that built the Guardians a 43-34 lead, their largest of the afternoon.

“I told her (Saturday) morning that she had a monster game inside of her coming,” Seacoast head coach Lee Petrie said. “I just knew it. … We decided to open the floor and let Ellie take over. She’s just a phenomenal player, as we’ve all seen for the last four years.”

The Guardians played the bulk of the fourth quarter with one-half of their roster — three players — with four fouls, including Leech, Winship (11 rebounds) and Bri Cluff (12 rebounds).

Though Seacoast had to soften out of the full-court pressure that had forced Valley into 16 turnovers through three quarters, it was too little too late for Valley (16-5) to claw all the way back.

A cold shooting day, particularly in the second half as Seacoast began pulling away, doomed the Cavaliers. They went just 11 for 39 from the floor (28.2 percent) over the final 16 minutes and missed everything from 3-pointers to uncontested layups.

“In games like this, you just cannot miss easy chances, because you don’t get easy chances,” said Hartwell, whose team suffered its first loss to a Class D school this season. “When you do, you better make them. They did make them, and we didn’t. We had tremendous looks through the whole game, but nothing was going down.

“That’s youth, but at some point you’ve got to go beyond that.”

“In the end, I think we just outplayed them,” added Leech, who noted the Guardians’ tough out-of-class schedule. “Our conditioning throughout the whole season, we played some tough Class C teams. We knew how to take care of it and get it done in the end.”

“When you’re in the southern part of southern York county, and your closest Class D game is Freeport and the second-closest is in Waterville, you take a lot of body blows,” Petrie continued. “It prepares us for what we’re doing right now. Our kids, we accept it and it’s part of our growth process.”

Brielle Hill led Valley with 23 points, one of three Cavs in double figures. Madeline Hill added 12, and Kirsten Bigelow finished with 11.

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story