June 26, 2019
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Top-seeded South Portland dominates Bonny Eagle to advance to Class AA South final

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
South Portland High School's Maggie Whitmore takes a shot at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Tuesday during the girls Class AA South basketball semifinals.

Top-seeded South Portland High School continued its dominant run in the Class AA South girls’ bracket Tuesday with a 58-35 win over No. 5 Bonny Eagle High School to advance to the regional final.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Bonny Eagle High School's Samantha Averill tries to get the ball around South Portland High School's Margaret Whitmore at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Tuesday during the girls Class AA South basketball semifinals.

The victory came despite a valiant effort by senior Scot captain Samantha Averill, who scored 15, including the first five points of the second half to bring the lower-seeded team to within nine points, 32-23, early in the third stanza.

But the Red Riots regained control, led by 6-foot-2-inch junior center Kaleisha Towle, who finished with 12 points and matched up defensively with 6-foot-5-inch sophomore Scot center Emily Bartash – who scored 14 and controlled the paint in a 56-35 quarterfinal win over Noble High School Thursday, but was held scoreless Tuesday.

South Portland used long-range shooting to build a 32-18 halftime lead. Four Red Riots combined to bury six three-pointers over the first two quarters, including two each by junior Maggie Whitmore and senior Isabela Cloutier.

Whitmore would finish with a game-high 16 points, while teammate Jena Leckie added 11 points.

The Red Riots handily defeated Thornton Academy in the quarterfinal, 66-33.

The Red Riots improve to 19-1 and will next play Friday at 3:45 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, where they will face No. 2 Scarborough High School. The Red Storm topped Gorham High School Tuesday in Portland in the semifinal round, 39-32.

Bonny Eagle finishes its season with a 13-7 record.

Both teams were knocked out in the semifinal round of last year’s tournament, with South Portland losing to eventual regional champ Gorham High School and Bonny Eagle falling to Scarborough.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
South Portland High School's Kaleisha Towle (left) and Bonny Eagle High School's Avianna Rath vie for a rebound at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Tuesday during the girls Class AA South basketball semifinals.
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
South Portland High School's Kaleisha Towle (left) and Bonny Eagle High School's Avianna Rath vie for a rebound at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Tuesday during the girls Class AA South basketball semifinals.

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