BANGOR, Maine — Winslow High School sophomore Elizabeth Ferry summed it up with five simple words after walking off the Bangor Auditorium floor and breathing a huge sigh of relief.
“That was way too close.”
The third-seeded Black Raiders built a 20-point halftime lead only to see No. 6 Camden Hills of Rockport fight back, but Winslow held on for a 39-36 Class B quarterfinal win at the Bangor Auditorium Friday night.
“The first half, we played like a veteran group. The second half, we showed our youth,” said Winslow coach Tom Nadeau, whose club improves to 17-2 and will play in Wednesday’s semifinals against either MDI or Hermon while the Windjammers finish 15-5.
It seemed like a foregone conclusion in the first 16 minutes, as the Raiders effectively double-teamed Camden’s Maddie Smeaton and Jordan Knowlton in the paint, forced 15 Windjammer turnovers and got 10 first-half points from 6-foot-1 sophomore Megan Pelletier, which led to a 28-8 Winslow advantage.
“Winslow played their game in the first half, and we played our game in the second half,” said Camden Hills coach Jay Carlsen. “We just got too far behind.”
The ’Jammers started to chip away in the third quarter, embarking on a 10-0 run before Kaylee Constable hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to restore Winslow’s lead to 31-18.
Constable’s were the Raiders’ lone points of the period.
Camden got within five with 21 seconds left on Gab Duke’s pull-up from the top of the circle, and her fast-break layup with six seconds left off a missed Winslow free throw made it 39-36.
But Carlsen didn’t have any timeouts remaining, and even though Alliyah Veilleux missed two free throws on the ensuing possession, there were only two-tenths of a second left.
Pelletier finished with a game-high 14 points for Winslow while Ferry had 10. Knowlton and Smeaton paced the Windjammers with 11 points apiece.
Carlsen’s club didn’t give in staring a 20-point halftime deficit in the face, and had the coach had a timeout in the final seconds, things could’ve been different.
“I told them the first few possessions of the third quarter will either give us some momentum, or we’ll be done,” Carlsen said.
Camden Hills forced 14 Winslow turnovers in the second half, while Smeaton had seven rebounds, three assists and three steals and Taylor Porter three steals.