BANGOR, Maine — Junior center Lexi Ireland’s game-high 16 points and 10 rebounds enabled Penobscot Valley of Howland to build a double-digit lead over Narraguagus of Harrington Tuesday afternoon. But when she fouled out with 4:35 to go, someone had to step up to hold off the rallying Knights.
Sophomore guard Emily St. Cyr did just that, scoring three baskets in the final 3 minutes, 40 seconds, to ensure a 45-42 triumph in their Class C North schoolgirl semifinal at the Cross Insurance Center.
The 16-4 Howlers, the fourth seed, face No. 9 Stearns High of Millinocket, also 16-4, in Friday night’s 8:35 semifinal.
Stearns ousted top seed Central Aroostook of Mars Hill 70-45.
Fifth seed Narraguagus finished up at 18-2.
“When Lexi left, I was nervous,” admitted St. Cyr, who added that she knew she had come through in her absence.
“I’m always telling her to stay in attack mode,” said PVHS coach Nathaniel Case.
Ireland said she knew St. Cyr would get the job done.
“She does it in practice,” said Ireland.
St. Cyr converted a pass underneath from Laney Harding to make it 40-29 with 3:40 left, scored off her own miss with 2:40 remaining to make it 42-31 and hit her most important shot of the night when she sliced across the lane and banked in a layup with 1:17 left extend the lead to 44-37.
Narraguagus couldn’t get any closer than five until Lanie Perry hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“She really picked it up for them,” said Narraguagus coach Eric Beal, who felt early foul trouble proved costly for his team.
Harding’s two 3-pointers helped stake PVHS to an 8-0 lead and the Howlers never trailed, leading by as many as 14 points.
St. Cyr wound up with 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals and Harding also had 10 points. Emilee Ireland, Lexi’s sister, scored six points and Judith King had three assists and four rebounds and anchored PVHS’ effective 1-3-1 zone.
Anna Strout provided 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals for Narraguagus and Kaci Alley posted eight points, nine rebounds and two steals. Perry, who was playing on a tender ankle that she sprained last week, contributed eight points, three steals and two assists. Emma Redimarker and Kirstin Kennedy added four points apiece.