AUGUSTA — Kirsten Bigelow did not know she had tied the Class D South girls basketball tournament record for 3-pointers in a game until told afterward.

“I have no idea,” the sophomore said with a laugh. 

But join the record books she did, as her five triples, part of a 19-point day, helped top-seeded and undefeated Valley to a 63-27 win over No. 5 Greenville in a D South semifinal Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center.

The Cavaliers (20-0) will face No. 2 Waynflete for the regional title at 1 p.m. Saturday back at the Civic Center. The teams did not meet in the regular season. 

Madeline Hill had 18 points and nine rebounds for Valley, while  teammate Rylee Clark added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Greenville eighth-grader Nola Mason had 16 points and 15 rebounds.

The 5-foot-6 Bigelow may not have known she tied the record, but her coach, Gordon Hartwell, sure did. Two of his former players, Kristen Baker (2004, 2006) and Cindy Schultz (2009, 2011), share the record with Forest Hills’s Kori Coro (2014). And now they are joined by Bigelow — who was held without a 3 in Tuesday’s 55-33 quarterfinal win over Telstar.


“She’s a really good 3-point shooter,” Hartwell said. “The first game, the shots were right there on the rim and she missed a couple. But she has the ability to make those and extend defenses.” 

Valley finished with eight 3-pointers overall, three shy of the D South tournament record set by Forest Hills in 2011.

“It feels pretty good to so something and help my team get where we want to go,” Bigelow said. 

Bigelow’s road to the record was a little bumpy at first; after one quarter, she already had three fouls in addition to six points on two 3s. But she settled down and didn’t incur any fouls the rest of the way.

Bigelow added another 3 in the third and two more in the fourth. Her last, part of a 22-2 run, came with 3:25 left in the game. 

Greenville’s Lakely St. Jean, middle, works against Valley’s Brianna Mills (24) and other defenders during a Class D South girls basketball semifinal game Thursday in Augusta. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“We knew coming it was going to be difficult,” said Greenville coach Maren Mason, who said she tried a triangle-and-1 defense against Hill and Bigelow until they heated up in the second half; Hill scored nine points and Bigelow eight in the fourth quarter. “Unfortunately, we’re not a super-fast team, so their ball movement just offset, and they were able to hit for shots.”


Valley won the teams’ lone regular-season outing, 60-13 on Jan. 9, but Greenville (8-9) put up more of a challenge Thursday, thanks to Nola Mason — the coach’s daughter — who played way beyond her years and grabbed more rebounds than one would expect from a 5-7 point guard. But no other Laker scored more than four points.

“She can shoot, and she doing to be tough,” Hartwell said. “She’s tough now, but she’s going to be tougher. We knew she was going to get some (points) and we were trying to keep it reasonable, and I knew it would be hard for the others to try to make up 20 or 30 or 40 points.” 

As Mason gets tougher, the odds are pretty high Greenville will be back in Augusta the next few years. 

“She’s strong, she can get to the basket,” coach Mason said. “She’s got to work on her outside shot, but that will come. She plays hard. We definitely wouldn’t be where we are without her. She’s our leader out there.”

Valley has a pretty good eighth-grader of its own, as Liana Hartwell — one of coach Hartwell’s three granddaughters on the Cavaliers’ roster — had five points and seven rebounds, two days after an eight-rebound, three-steal effort against Telstar. Both teams listed four eighth-graders on their rosters Thursday.

“Out starting lineup is eighth (grade), ninth, 10th, 10th, 11th,” said coach Hartwell, whose team has zero seniors. “These kids are going to be around for a while.”

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