PORTLAND, Maine — It might take a few minutes for the undefeated, two-time defending Class A champion McAuley girls’ basketball team to kick it into gear, but once the Lions get rolling, it’s a sight to behold.
Monday evening, in a regional quarterfinal against No. 8 Gorham, top-ranked McAuley only led 9-8 after one period and saw the Rams tie the score 22 seconds into the second on a free throw. A second foul shot (which would have put the Lions behind in a tournament game for the first time since the 2011 Western A Final) was off-target and McAuley then erupted on a 17-0 run that put the game out of reach. The Lions never looked back and went on to their 45th straight victory, 46-31.
McAuley improved to 19-0, ended Gorham’s season at 12-8 and advanced to face No. 4 Scarborough (16-3) in the semifinal round Friday at 6 p.m., at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
A jumper from junior Allie Clement (12 points) put the Lions on top to stay. Freshman Sarah Clement and junior Jackie Welch added 3s, Allie Clement converted an old-fashioned three-point play, junior Olivia Smith scored on a leaner, Sarah Clement hit a jumper in transition and sophomore Laura Holman made a layup after a nice spin move to put McAuley up, 26-9, which turned out the lights on the Rams.
McAuley led by as many as 19 points in the second half before Gorham finished strong.
Welch joined Allie Clement as the game’s high scorer with 12 points. Sarah Clement added 10. Sophomore Abby Hamilton had 10 points and Binghamton University-bound senior Kristin Ross added nine for the Rams.