BANGOR — Third-seeded Deer Isle-Stonington survived a ragged performance in its quarterfinal game Saturday against a pesky Ashland team to remain undefeated and make it into the next round.
Despite 9-of-48 shooting from the floor and turning the ball over 22 times, the Mariners used a 15-0 scoring run in the second half to slowly pull away for a 33-20 Class D girls victory. It was the team’s first tourney win since 2010.
“We could not hit water if we fell out of a boat,” said Deer Isle-Stonington coach Randy Shepard, “but we gutted it out and did enough to win.”
Deer Isle-Stonington (17-0) faces No. 2 Woodland, a 39-35 winner over No. 7 Schenck on Saturday, in next Thursday’s 2:05 p.m. semifinal.
Ashland closed out its second consecutive season qualifying for the tournament, following an 11-year drought, with a 9-10 record.
The Hornets were within three points (17-14) with less than two minutes to play in the third quarter and had an opportunity to tie the score on a 3-point attempt by Shelby Stolze that was off the mark. Soon after that, the Mariners took over.
Lillian Gray canned two field goals and three teammates combined to hit eight consecutive free throws, while the defense shut out Ashland over a span of 8:41.
Gray and Kaylee Morey each finished with nine points to lead Deer Isle-Stonington. All of Morey’s came from the foul line, where she was 9-for-11 for the game.
Ashland struggled badly on the offensive end, going 6-for-52 in the contest and committing 21 miscues. The Hornets had few answers against the Mariners’ defense, which was primarily a 2-3 half-court zone.
“They had a couple tall girls and we just don’t match up well against bigger teams,” said Hornets coach Ben Lothrop. “We just didn’t get into a good rhythm.”
Poulin, a freshman battling a sprained thumb which she aggravated and forced her to sit out several minutes in the third quarter, netted 11 as Ashland’s lone double-digit scorer.
Deer Isle-Stonington went inside constantly against the much shorter Hornets’ 2-3 zone and led throughout, taking its largest lead (15-7) after Gray hit field goals 30 seconds apart late in the second quarter.
Poulin scored Ashland’s final six points of the half on two free throws and a pair of 12-footers from the baseline and the Hornets ended up trailing 15-9 at the break.
Deer Isle-Stonington hit on only five of its first 27 shots and Ashland connected on just 3 of 25.
“We wanted to be able to go to the basket and we got some good looks, but we couldn’t put it in,” Shepard said.