AUGUSTA, Maine — Junior guard Amelia McLaughlin scored 14 points and senior forward Bailey Donovan shook off early foul trouble to add 13 points and 17 rebounds as Hampden Academy pulled away from Lawrence of Fairfield 50-36 in their Class A North girls basketball semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center on Tuesday night.
Second-ranked and defending regional champion Hampden (16-4) will play the winner of Tuesday’s second semifinal between top-seeded Skowhegan and No. 5 Messalonskee of Oakland in Friday’s 7 p.m. regional championship game.
“I thought the kids executed everything we wanted to do all game long,” said Hampden coach Nick Winchester. “They made some really tough shots, some long threes, but we were going to have to live with that. I thought our defensive execution was great.”
Third-ranked Lawrence ends its season with a 13-7 record.
Hampden led just 35-29 after Lawrence’s Megan Curtis buried a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter, but the Broncos, with Donovan back on the floor after sitting out the final 2:40 of the third quarter with three fouls, scored seven straight points to stretch their lead to double digits.
McLaughlin answered Curtis’ 3-pointer with one of her own, then Alydia Brillant made a medium-range jumper before Isabelle Soucy turned a steal into a layup, and suddenly Hampden’s lead was 42-29 with 6:20 to play.
Lawrence got no closer than 11 the rest of the way.
Brillant finished with nine points and Camryn Bouchard added eight for Hampden.
Curtis paced Lawrence with 14 points.
Hampden and Lawrence split during the regular season, each winning on the other’s home court. Hampden shut down Lawrence 48-29 at Folsom Gymnasium in Fairfield last Dec. 14 while Lawrence gained revenge with a 57-48 victory at Hampden on Jan. 19.
Lawrence scored the final nine points of the second quarter to rally within 24-19 at intermission.
The early stages of this game had the hallmarks of their first meeting of the season, as Hampden controlled the paint defensively while getting an 11-point first quarter from McLaughlin.
“We had a lot of really good movement on offense, and that created a lot of opportunities for us,” said McLaughlin, who matched her previous career scoring high in the opening quarter.”
Four of her five first-quarter baskets came on drives while Donovan helped draw the Lawrence defense away from the basket, and McLaughlin’s final early strike came on a 3-pointer that gave the Broncos a 17-5 lead at the end of the period.
“I thought in the first quarter Amelia McLaughlin attacking the rim was really good for us,” said Winchester. “It opened other things up and created a challenge for them that I don’t think they were prepared for.”
Curtis ended a field-goal drought of 7 minutes, 49 seconds with a 3-pointer a minute into the second period, but Hampden was able to build a 24-10 lead on back-to-back 3-pointers by Camryn Bouchard, the second with 4:13 left in the half.