AUGUSTA, Maine — A game largely controlled by third-ranked Lawrence of Fairfield suddenly grew perilous at the end of the third quarter in Friday’s Class A North girls basketball quarterfinal.
Medomak Valley’s Aubrey Schaeffer came up with a loose ball and converted a buzzer-beating, four-point play to draw her team back within single digits entering the final eight minutes.
Schaeffer’s 3-point shot from the right of the key and subsequent free throw seemingly gave the sixth-seeded Panthers from Waldoboro newfound hope, but it was an upset threat quickly quashed as Lawrence opened the fourth quarter with an 18-2 run and pulled away to a 57-33 victory at the Augusta Civic Center.
Lawrence (13-6) faces second-ranked Hampden Academy in Tuesday night’s semifinals. Lawrence and Hampden, a 44-26 quarterfinal winner over No. 7 Erskine Academy of South China on Friday, split two regular-season meetings.
Senior forward Brooklyn Lambert led Lawrence past Medomak Valley with a game-high 18 points, 15 in the second half after the Bulldogs took took a scant 20-17 intermission lead.
Keegan Alley added 13 points for Lawrence while Sarah Poli scored 12.
Schaeffer, Mackenzie Bickmore, Sadie Cohen and Lydia Simmons scored six points apiece for Medomak Valley (11-8).
Lawrence had possession of the ball and a 37-25 lead in the waning seconds of the third quarter and looked poised to get its own final shot, but some hustle defense by Medomak Valley produced the loose ball that Schaeffer buried from long range at the buzzer as she was being fouled.
“We should have been able to hold onto the ball and get the last shot,” said Lambert, “but they made the play and made a good shot.”
Schaeffer’s free throw closed the gap to 37-29 at the break, but Lawrence countered immediately as Lambert opened the final period with a 3-pointer and a follow-up basket to restore the Bulldogs to a 42-29 cushion.
After a Medomak Valley basket by Kayla Donlin, Lawrence scored 13 unanswered points to put the game away, beginning with a fast-break layup and a three-point play from the baseline by Alley.
“We just needed to finish the game off strong and run our plays,” said Lambert. “We executed well at the end and were able to pull through.”