BANGOR, Maine — Camden Hills coach Marty Messer knew if his team was going to get past Oceanside, it would have to contain Mariners standout Kennadi Grover.
The defense of Rachel Pease made the difference.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore blanketed the Oceanside senior Friday night, limiting Grover to 11 points to spark the seventh-seeded Windjammers to a 54-39 Eastern Maine Class B girls basketball quarterfinal win at the Bangor Auditorium.
Camden Hills (14-6) advances to play No. 3 Nokomis of Newport (18-2) in Wednesday’s 2:05 p.m. semifinal. The Warriors beat No. 6 Belfast 49-39 earlier Friday.
In the second game, the Windjammers avenged two regular-season defeats to the No. 2 Mariners (16-3), including a 63-38 setback on Feb. 7. In that one, Pease did not guard Grover.
“She’s [Pease] quick and long and she bothers so many shots. She probably has five inches on [Grover],” Messer said. “She did a great job.”
The Windjammers played quite a bit of 2-3 zone, but effectively mixed in man-to-man.
Pease was half of Camden Hills’ dominating frontcourt duo along with senior Jordan Knowlton, who scored a game-high 21 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Pease tallied `14 points and 13 rebounds.
“We came out of the gates strong and we played very tough ‘D,’” Knowlton said. “We rebounded, got on loose balls.
“We wanted to come out with a wicked drive,” she added.
Pease scored seven points during a 10-0 run that gave the Windjammers an early 10-2 lead. Oceanside would lead only once after that, and briefly.
Camden Hills opened the second half with a 7-1 spurt that put it in control. Knowlton hit a 3-pointer and Pease scored from underneath off a Bekah Hilt assist, before Hannah Plourde made a free throw for the Mariners.
Hilt followed with a rebound basket off a Knowlton steal that made it 32-24 with 5:28 left in the third. Oceanside never got closer than seven after that as the ’Jammers spread the floor in the fourth quarter and milked the foul line to put the game away.
Hilton posted seven points and eight rebounds and Megan Legage added six points and five rebounds for the winners, who shot only 7-for-22 from the foul line and 25 percent from the field.
Emily Gould led the Mariners with 17 points and six rebounds. Grover netted 11 points on 5-for-21 shooting, while Phoebe Ferraiolo hauled down 12 rebounds.
In Friday’s opener, Kelsie Richards scored all 12 of her points in the fourth quarter, propelling Nokomis to victory over Belfast.
Nokomis coach Michelle Paradis was fine with Richards’ performance.
“I have continually yelled at my guards to keep shooting,” said a smiling Paradis afterward.
She doesn’t want them to lose confidence just because they miss a couple early in the game.
“I tell them, ‘if you’re open, shoot the ball,’” Paradis said.
Richards, a junior guard, could see the confidence ebbing among the Warriors.
“We were rushing our shots,” she said. “It was not going well.”
Nokomis did take a 15-7 lead after one quarter, but the Lions closed to 20-18 at the half.
Belfast coach Stan Sturgis credited his team’s 3-2 zone defense. The Lions normally play man-to-man.
‘It worked. We stalled [their offense],” said Sturgis.
Paradis told her guards again to keep shooting, and it finally worked.
“I feel like I got into a rhythm,” said Richards.
The Lions clawed back to grab a 29-28 lead with 5:10 remaining in the game, and that’s when Richards came alive.
She opened with a 3-pointer at the 4:55 mark to regain the lead for the Warriors (17-2) and added a field goal with 3:43 left to push the lead to four.
Belfast trimmed the lead to two a couple of times, but the Warriors alternated pounding the ball inside and shooting from the outside to hold off Belfast (14-6).
“Occasionally, we have mental lapses,” said Paradis, “but once we get back into our rhythm, we’re fine.”
Senior center Lexi Nelligan juked and spun her way to a game-high 20 points, including eight in the fourth quarter as the Lions hung in.
Taylor Shaw led Nokomis with 13 points, and Anna MacKenzie added 11.
Courtney Drinkwater posted 14 points for Nokomis.
CORRECTION: The time of Wednesday’s semifinal game was incorrect in the original story. It is 2:05 p.m.