BANGOR, Maine — Watching the faces of Nokomis players as they filed out of the locker room Saturday morning, one might think the Warriors had lost.
The demeanor of the defending state champions was simply a reflection of their dissatisfaction with how they played.
Second-seeded Nokomis overcame subpar defense and 19 turnovers to earn a 58-51 Eastern Maine Class B girls basketball quarterfinal victory over Medomak Valley of Waldoboro.
“I think they let the atmosphere, everything surrounding it, got to them a little too much,” said Nokomis coach Kori Dionne. “I think we need to get our focus back.”
The undefeated Warriors (19-0) play No. 6 Old Town (14-6) in Wednesday’s 7:05 p.m. semifinal. Medomak Valley finishes at 13-7.
Nokomis plans to have a better approach for that game.
“We won, so that’s all that matters,” said senior guard Marissa Shaw, who sparked the Warriors with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
“I thought we lost our composure at times unnecessarily,” she said. “Hopefully, we got our jitters out.”
The difference for Nokomis was its offensive balance, execution and solid rebounding. The Warriors shot 47 percent and outrebounded the Panthers 33-24.
Nokomis rolled to a 66-33 victory in the teams’ Jan. 14 regular-season meeting. Medomak Valley coach Randy Hooper said his team learned from that experience.
“The first time we played them up at their place this year, it was like women against school girls,” Hooper said. “They just kind of pushed us around and banged us around.
“We were a lot more physical with them today, which was good,” he added.
Sophomore Anna Mackenzie registered a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, along with three assists, for the winners. Classmate Kelsie Richards contributed 12 points and three assists while senior Emilee Reynolds (5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals) and sophomore Kylie Richards (4 assists, 2 steals) added eight points each.
The catalyst for Medomak Valley was senior Alanna Vose. The slippery guard poured in a game-high 24 points, including 16 in the second half, while eclipsing 1,000 for her career.
She provided four steals and three assists.
“She deserves every accolade that she has earned,” Hooper said.
The Panthers received nine points from Mallory Robbins, while Mallory Conary (7 rebounds) and Hannah Marks posted eight points each.
Nokomis built a 15-point lead behind the inside play of MacKenzie, who had 10 points and seven rebounds in the first half. Medomak Valley later responded with a 7-0 run to make it 30-23 at halftime.
Conary hit two 3-pointers as the Panthers opened the second half with a 9-4 surge to make it a two-point game. However, Kelsie Richards’ 3-pointer sparked a 7-0 flurry that restored the lead and Medomak never got closer than six after that.