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BANGOR, Maine — The undefeated and third-seeded Waterville High School Purple Panthers had their hands full with the hard-working 11th-seeded John Bapst High School Crusaders on Friday night in their Class B North schoolgirl quarterfinal at the Cross Insurance Center.
In fact, the Purple Panthers found themselves trailing 25-21 after three quarters.
But junior forward Sadie Garling and sophomore guard Jayda Murray each scored six points during a 15-3 run over the first 3:43 of the final period and Waterville went on to post a 44-35 victory.
Waterville is 19-0 and will face the Hermon-Presque Isle winner in the semifinals on Wednesday at 7:05.
John Bapst wound up 7-13.
Garling finished with a game-high 19 points and she also grabbed four rebounds while Murray contributed 12 points and three rebounds. Junior center Maddy Martin produced six points, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots and Kali Thompson came off the bench to grab a game-high 14 rebounds to go with three points.
Paige St. Pierre chipped in with eight rebounds and two assists and Lindsay Given had five rebounds.
Sydney Ellis scored 11 points to pace the Crusaders and she also had three rebounds and two blocked shots. Lacey Scanlon had six points, four rebounds and two assists and Tianna Cyr and Emily Mock each scored five points. Cyr also had six rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
Jayda Smith notched four points and eight rebounds and Adelaide Valley pulled down six rebounds and had a pair of steals.
Waterville’s full-court pressure paid dividends in the fourth quarter as as it forced turnovers that led to transition baskets.
Murray started the flurry with a driving layup and she then fed Martin for a 3-pointer that gave Waterville the lead for good at 26-25. Murray made a steal and scored off an offensive rebound and a St. Pierre steal and pass resulted in a Murray layup.
Following a Valley free throw, Garling sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around a Scanlon basket to make it 36-28.
John Bapst couldn’t get any closer than five the rest of the way.
“We really needed to take control (in the fourth quarter),” Murray said.
“When we get out and run, we’re hard to stop. We’re athletic and we have shot-makers so we can put a lot of points on the board in a hurry,” said Waterville coach Rob Rodrigue, who felt the pressure may have worn the Crusaders out. “And when Sadie gets it going, she’s tough to stop.”
“In the first half, I knew my shot was off and, when I’m doing shooting drills, I always say ‘Adjust, adjust, legs.’ I kept that in my head and I started knocking them down,” Garling said.
“We fought hard but we had a couple of defensive breakdowns and they made us pay. They got real hot in the fourth quarter and that was the difference,” John Bapst coach Chris Woodside said.