PORTLAND — Second-ranked Deering had to dig deep into its reservoir of experience and heart to survive its Western Class A girls’ quarterfinal against No. 7 Thornton Academy on Monday afternoon at the Portland Exposition Building.
The Rams, who were upset by Windham in last year’s quarterfinals, overcame a dreadful start, posting just two points in the first seven minutes, then held off an Olivia Shaw-led second half surge to set up a semifinal round city showdown with No. 3 Cheverus (17-2) Friday at 7:30 p.m., at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Deering (17-2) went ahead to stay on a pair of free throws from senior Marissa MacMillan early in the second period, part of a 13-0 run which featured an 8-minute, 7-second Thornton Academy drought. The Rams were up six, 19-13 at halftime, but Shaw (who had a game-high 15 points) made a pair of 3s in the third quarter to pull the Golden Trojans (12-8) within one, 24-23, heading for the final stanza.
There, MacMillan, who sat out much of the third with foul troubles, scored on a layup while being fouled and added the free throw for some breathing room. Senior Chelsea Saucier hit a baseline jumper and Deering’s defense didn’t allow a single field goal in the fourth period as the Rams held on to advance, 33-25.
Saucier led the Rams with 14 points, while MacMillan had 10 points and eight rebounds. Deering forced 20 turnovers.