BANGOR, Maine — If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
The No. 4 Washburn High School Beavers used the same formula they’ve used all season and earned a familiar result Thursday night, topping top-seeded Schenck High School 78-57 in an Eastern Maine Class D girls basketball semifinal at the Cross Insurance Center.
The Beavers (18-2) will take on No. 2 Van Buren High in the Eastern Maine championship game Saturday at 9:05 a.m.
Three-time defending state champion Washburn, which has won 14 straight games dating back to early January, set the tone early on in the first quarter with some stifling full-court pressure that forced 16 Schenck turnovers in the first half to their eight.
“This is the best start [to a game] that we’ve ever had,” junior forward Joan Overman said.
The Beavers took a 48-22 lead into halftime thanks to their ability to run the floor and keep the Wolverines guessing on the defensive end.
“We expected a dogfight,” Washburn head coach Diana Trams said. “I’m glad we were able to get an early lead. We were inconsistent on defense earlier this year, but the girls picked it up. They want to keep playing.”
Senior center Carsyn Koch had five steals of her own in the first half that led to layups at the other end.
She would finish with 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting and four rebounds to lead the Beavers at both ends of the floor. Junior point guard Mackenzie Worcester led all scorers with 24 points on 6-for-12 shooting, while Overman chipped in 13 points and led the Beavers on the glass with seven rebounds.
The Beavers went on a 19-4 run midway through the opening quarter before senior guard Carmen Bragg capped it with a 3 to head into the second up 28-9, and the Wolverines would not recover.
Washburn, which shot at a 54 percent clip (27-50) from the floor in the game, also shot well from the charity stripe. The Beavers hit 23 of 32 from the foul line, led by Worcester’s 10-for-15 effort.
Their dominance would continue in the form of a 10-2 run to kick off the second quarter. Schenck went on a 7-3 run midway through the quarter to cut the deficit to 41-18, but could not loosen Washburn’s grip on the game.
Washburn would continue those first-half trends in the second, with Overman giving them their biggest lead of the game to that point at 55-26 three minutes into the third quarter.
Morgan Thompson was tied with Worcester for the game-high with 24 points on 10-for-23 shooting for Schenck, which shot 21-47 from the floor in the game. The Wolverines went on an 8-0 midway through the third before Washburn answered with a 9-0 run of its own to end the third quarter, capped by Worcester’s 3 to beat the buzzer and send the Beavers into the fourth up 64-34.
The Wolverines upped the pressure in the final eight minutes in an attempt to cut into the Beaver lead. Sophomore forward Kayla Falone connected on a hook shot in the lane to cut the deficit to 21, the Wolverine’s smallest deficit since the first quarter, but could dent the lead no further. Falone would finished with 9 points on 4-for-10 shooting to go with six rebounds.
Bragg added 14 points on 3-for-6 shooting — including a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line — to go along with three boards and two assists to aid the Beaver attack.
Schenck committed 25 turnovers and Washburn finished with 18.