Defending state Class B North champ Winslow was severely tested by a youthful Old Town High School team that was making its first school’s first appearance in a tournament quarterfinal since 2012.
That experience paid dividends down the stretch as Winslow held Old Town to four fourth-quarter points and senior guard Weslee Littlefield sank two important free throws with 44.5 seconds left as the fifth-seeded Black Raiders held off the fourth-seeded Coyotes 36-29 at the Cross Insurance Center.
Winslow, now 13-6, will take on the winner of the Mount Desert Island-Maine Central Institute game in Wednesday’s 8:35 p.m. semifinal.
Old Town, which had two freshmen and a sophomore in its starting lineup, finished up at 14-5.
Littlefield’s two free throws in a one-and-one made it a two-possession game as it gave Winslow a 34-29 lead. Old Town was guilty of a traveling violation in its next possession and Silver Clukey capped the scoring with a pair of foul shots.
“You want to be on the line, hitting those shots,” said Littlefield, who got a fortuitous bounce off the rim on her first free throw. “That’s what you live for, why you play the game. It was fun.”
Old Town, which trailed 29-25 after three quarters, went 2-for-19 from the floor in the final period including a sequence when they had five shots in one possession.
“That was nice to look back on,” said Winslow junior guard Silver Clukey, whose 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter gave Winslow a 29-25 lead. “They have some good players so we really had to step up on defense.”
“We played hard. We definitely got a lot of shots off but they just weren’t falling today,” said Old Town standout guard Hannah Richards.
Both teams played exceptional defense as Winslow shot only 25.6 from the floor (12-for-47) compared to Old Town’s 25.5 percent (13-for-51).
Clukey finished with a game-high 15 points and she also grabbed six rebounds. She had eight points in the first half as Winslow built a 22-14 lead. Littlefield added eight points and five rebounds. Senior Maeghan Bernard grabbed 10 rebounds and scored four points.
Freshman Maddy Emerson had 10 points and six rebounds for the Coyotes. Richards had nine points and five rebounds and freshman Lexi Thibodeau grabbed 10 rebounds and had a basket. Freshman Sydney Loring came off the bench to contribute six rebounds, two assists and two points.
“Winslow has very physical athletes, they’re strong, they’re good shooters and they attack the rim well,” said Old Town coach Heather Richards. “In the end, (Winslow’s) experience won.”