March 22, 2019
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Sophomore sparks Hampden girls past Lawrence in ‘A’ quarterfinal

AUGUSTA, Maine — Sophomore center Bailey Donovan scored 17 of her game-high 21 points during the second half and Hampden Academy used tight defense throughout to defeat Lawrence of Fairfield 46-39 in a Class A North girls basketball quarterfinal at the Augusta Civic Center on Friday evening.

Coach Tim Scott’s fifth-seeded Broncos (12-7) advance to the semifinals for the second straight year and face the winner of Friday’s late game between No. 1 Messalonskee of Oakland and No. 8 Gardiner on Feb. 23.

Fourth seed Lawrence, the state champion in 2015 and regional champion last year, ends its season at 12-7.

Hampden never trailed after the opening minute of the second quarter, using a triangle-and-two defense early and a 1-2-2 zone late to frustrate Lawrence.

The two focal points of that defensive effort, guards Hunter Mercier and Camryn Caldwell, finished with a combined 15 points — few coming out of the Bulldogs’ offensive sets.

“We played them twice during the regular season and they lit us up for high 50s in both games,” said Scott. “If you give Mercier any space she’ll can shoot it and Caldwell’s had a good season. We just focused on them and I think we tired them out in the first half and they made an adjustment so we went to the 1-2-2 and it seemed to work toward the end.”

The 6-foot-3 Donovan shook off a sluggish start to score six points in the the third quarter and 11 in the fourth period to help put the game away. She made 9 of 12 free throws and grabbed eight rebounds.

“(Donovan) struggled in the first half, but in the second half she made a couple and got herself going and got some blocks on defense,” said Scott. “She’s 6-4 and their tallest girl is 5-9 so we’ve got to get her the ball.”

Mercier led Lawrence with 10 points, while junior forward Molly Folsom grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

Solid defense and familiarity with each other — the teams split their two regular-season contests, each winning at home — led to a low-scoring first half.

Hampden led 7-5 at the end of the first quarter thanks to a late 3-pointer by Brooklynn Scott, then pushed its advantage to 12-8 as Donovan fed Sophia Narofsky for a short baseline jumper and then followed with her lone field goal of the half and a 1-of-2 trip to the free-throw line.

Caldwell soon stole the ball and scored her only early basket, and Keagan Alley made 1 of 2 from the line to close the gap to 12-11 before Hampden’s Wildman floated in a 10-footer from the lane and added a second drive with six seconds left in the half to give Hampden a 16-11 edge at the break.

Donovan made it 18-11 a minute into the third quarter, but Lawrence battled back as wo Folsom layups and a 3-pointer by Caldwell keyed an 8-2 run that produced a 20-20 tie.

Hampden countered with 10 straight points — the last six by Donovan — to move out to a 30-20 advantage a minute into the final period, and Lawrence got no closer than six the rest of the way.

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