AUGUSTA — As she climbed down the ladder with the net in hand, a hard-earned prize for victory in the Class C South girls’ basketball championship game, Elise MacNair heard the chant from her Old Orchard Beach teammates.


MacNair scored 26 points, including the only three scored in overtime, and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Seagulls to a 39-36 overtime win over top-seeded North Yarmouth Academy on Saturday night at the Augusta Civic Center.

It marks the first regional championship in any class for the Old Orchard Beach girls’ basketball program.

“She had 26, but she gets everyone involved. She’s a complete player, and makes everyone around her better. She doesn’t care about stats,” said Seagulls Coach Dean Plante.

No. 2 Old Orchard Beach (18-3) will play Dexter (20-1) for the state championship at 7:05 p.m. next Saturday at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. NYA ends the season at 19-2, with both losses to the Seagulls.


A Maine Miss Basketball semifinalist, MacNair was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. She was at her best when her team needed her to be. The senior scored nine points combined in the fourth quarter and overtime, and began the game with nine points in the first quarter as the Seagulls built an 11-0 lead.

“I don’t think anything I say will do what I’m feeling any justice. I’m so proud of this group of girls,” MacNair said. “There was definitely nervous energy coming into this game, but I don’t necessarily think it was because we were scared to play. We knew what was at stake.”

The Seagulls started fast by getting penetration on the Panthers’ 1-3-1 zone and attacking the basket. When NYA began to sag the zone some, it close off the cutting lanes and forced OOB to work the ball around the perimeter.

“We didn’t shoot particularly well from the perimeter, but we defended well all night,” Plante said.

With the defense slowing the Seagulls offensively, NYA’s offense was able to chip away at the early deficit. Old Orchard Beach’s lead was cut to six points, 20-14, at the half, and after Athena Gee hit a pair of 3-pointers late in the third quarter, NYA entered the fourth with a 27-26 lead. With the late season injury to Maine Miss Basketball semifinalist Angel Huntsman, the Panthers were still adjusting to new roles, said Coach Tom Robinson.

“We’ve always answered the bell all year. It was tough start. I’m proud we took the lead. We didn’t get up enough to put the pressure on them,” Robinson said.


NYA made six 3-pointers, with five coming in the second half. The last of Charlotte Harper-Cunningham’s three 3-pointers came with six seconds left in regulation to knot the game at 36-36 and send it to overtime.

“We have a few good 3-point shooters. The way they were playing defense, those were the openings we had. We were comfortable with the girls taking them,” Robinson said.

In overtime, all the scoring came from MacNair, who made a free throw and a layup. The Panthers had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but the Seagulls’ defense pushed them too far to the perimeter, and a desperation shot was off the mark as time expired.

Harper-Cunningham and Graca Bila each had nine points for NYA, while Sarah English grabbed nine rebounds.

Sarah Davis added seven points for OOB, while Summer St. Louis had nine rebounds.

“I think these kids focus. When they come off the bus, they’re ready to play,” Plante said. “They’ve done it all week, really the whole second half of the season. They pay attention to scouts, and they execute the game plan.”

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