BANGOR, Maine — For the second time this week, Kaylee Johnson found herself at the foul line with the game on the line.
Calais High School’s sophomore guard was nervous.
“I put the [quarterfinal] game behind me and just tried my hardest to make it and do everything that I could,” she said.
Johnson made one free throw with 11.6 seconds left Friday, lifting the No. 1 Blue Devils to a 46-45 Eastern Maine Class C girls semifinal basketball victory over No. 5 Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln at the Bangor Auditorium.
“It kind of put my nervousness out of the way after that game the other night. I don’t like blowout games, I like close games — just not this close,” Johnson said.
Coach Dana Redding’s team (20-0) plays No. 3 Orono, a 40-31 winner over Dexter, in Saturday’s 7:05 p.m. title game.
It was Calais’ third win of the season over MA (10-10).
The Blue Devils, who beat Narraguagus 55-54 in the quarterfinals, found a way to win again. They trailed 26-18 at halftime, but outscored the Lynx 22-8 in the third period.
“We came into the locker room at halftime and we just decided that we needed to get fired back up, because we weren’t playing as strong as we can,” said Calais sophomore point guard Maddie McVicar (13 points, 5 assists, 2 steals).
Olivia Smith hit two 3-pointers and scored eight of her nine points in the third as Calais took a 36-30 lead with 1:09 left in the quarter.
“We weren’t hitting early and we went a little smaller and tried to get more pressure,” Redding said.
The Lynx opened the fourth with a 9-3 surge that included back-to-back 3-pointers by Mikaila Bisson and Harli Maxwell (11 points) to make it 43-all with 3:42 left.
Calais did not make a basket in the period (0-for-7), but sank six of eight foul shots. MA shot 3-for-12.
Paige Gillespie (8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks) made two foul shots to put Calais on top 45-43 with 1:26 to play, but the Lynx answered on an inside hoop by Taylor Blood (14 points, 6 rebounds) with 29 seconds left.
Johnson (9 points) hit the first of two shots from the foul line to give Calais the lead, then a 3-pointer by MA’s Maxwell missed in the final seconds.
MA shot 5-for-21 in the second half after hitting 57 percent of its shots (12-for-21) in the first half.
“We got the looks we wanted. It just didn’t go in for us, unfortunately,” said MA coach Stephanie Dubay.