AUGUSTA – Off the strength of its defense and transitional play, the Hall-Dale girls basketball team has found its way back into a Class C South final.

The No. 2 Bulldogs forced 35 turnovers out of No. 3 Richmond on the way to a 48-23 win in a semifinal matchup Thursday afternoon at the Augusta Civic Center.

Senior guard Hayden Madore led Hall-Dale (19-1) with 14 points, while Jade Graham scored nine . Torie Tibbetts and Marie Benoit each added seven points for the Bulldogs. Hall-Dale last reached the Class C final in 2022, on the way to its eventual state championship victory.

“It’s so good (to win),” said Madore, a member of the 2022 Class C title team. “Last year we lost in this round, so this year it’s awesome we get to move on and have a practice (Friday).”

Breonna Dufresne led Richmond with eight points, while Izzy Stewart added seven . The Bobcats finished 17-3.

Hall-Dale jumped out to a 15-4 lead in the first quarter – thanks to 6-0 and 5-0 runs – and never looked back. Defensively, the Bulldogs forced 16 turnovers out of the Bobcats in the first half alone and entered halftime with a 24-13 lead.


“(Richmond’s) main scorer is Izzy Stewart, so we wanted to front her and have our guards pick it from her,” Madore said. “I think we executed great. And to keep up the tempo, because they couldn’t really keep up with our transition.”

“I was really proud of their effort and their tenacity today,” Hall-Dale head coach Laurie Rowe said. “They played the style of basketball we like to play, the run-and-gun. It was really awesome.”

Hall-Dale essentially sealed the game in the third quarter, outscoring the Bobcats by a 15-2 margin for a 39-15 lead entering the fourth. Graham scored all nine of her points in the second half. Madore, who distributed to her teammates for most of the game, scored most of her points from beyond the arc, hitting three 3-pointers.

Hall-Dale senior guard Hayden Madore puts up a shot during a Class C South semifinal girls basketball game on Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Rowe said the win over Richmond was a step in the right direction from Hall-Dale’s play in its 45-26 victory over Winthrop in the quarterfinals.

“(The quarterfinal game) was a little out of our norm,” Rowe said. “Now we’ve got one under our belt and hopefully we’ll continue that momentum into the next game.”

Richmond fought throughout and found some offensive momentum late in the first half before the Bulldogs pulled away in the third quarter. Stewart battled on the boards throughout the game, pulling down six rebounds.

“I’m very proud of this group of girls,” Richmond head coach Mike Ladner said. “It’s a great group. This process started four years ago. This group started out 1-9 in the COVID year, they progressed to 10-6, to 14-3 to (17-3) and we progressed every year in the tournament. So I’m very proud of them; they’re a bunch of hardworking kids and I love them to death.”

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