Lake Region’s Melissa Bonenfant battles for a rebound with Oak Hill’s Audrey Dillman left and Sadie Waterman during the first half of Tuesday’s playoff game at the Portland Expo. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
PORTLAND — It took the Lake Region girls’ basketball team about four minutes to get rolling in Tuesday’s Class B South quarterfinal game against Oak Hill.
But once the Lakers got on the board, they couldn’t be stopped. After trailing 5-0 halfway through the first quarter, No. 4 Lake Region (14-5) kicked off a 16-point run en route to a 52-28 victory over the fifth-seeded Raiders (14-5). Lake Region will face No. 1 Gray-New Gloucester in the regional semifinals.
“I think we just came out a little nervous,” Lake Region senior Lauren Jakobs said. “We just had to shake off the nerves. Once we start making shots, we’re off to the races and no one is going to stop us.”
Chandler True led the Lakers with 16 points, and Jakobs contributed 14. For Oak Hill, Desirae Dumais and Abigail Nadeau led the team with nine and eight points.
Nadeau scored the first five points of the game for Oak Hill, making two free throws before hitting a 3-pointer with four minutes left in the first quarter.
“We knew that we needed to get it together,,” Chandler True said. “We just picked up the intensity and really shared the ball well.”
Chandler True answered back with a 3-pointer on the Lakers’ following possession, then pulled them within a point of tying the score with a free throw. Shauna Hancock gave Lake Region a 6-5 lead with a field goal before True rounded out the scoring for the quarter with another two points from the foul line, pulling the Lakers up 8-5 heading into the second.
Following a Jakobs field goal early in the second quarter, Rachel Shanks hit a 3-pointer, which Jakobs then matched with a 3 of her own before Anya Chase ended Oak Hill’s scoring drought with a pair of free throws with less than six minutes left in the half.
The Raiders found a bit of momentum late in the second quarter, which they concluded with a Desirae Dumais 3-point play and a Julia Noel field goal for a quick five points in the final minute. However, Lake Region still entered halftime with a 28-16 lead.
Nadeau pulled Oak Hill within 10 points of Lake Region with a field goal 20 second into the second half, but it was the closest the Raiders would get to closing the gap.
“When we share the basketball and we’re patient on offense and find the open player, we can be very difficult to guard,” Lake Region Coach Paul True said. “I think our pressure kind of got the ball rolling.”
The Lakers took off from there, forcing turnover after turnover and turning them into points. They outscored Oak Hill 20-4 in the third quarter, hitting four 3-pointers in a row – two from Chandler True and the others from Jakobs and Rachel Shanks – during another 16-point run.
The Raiders outscored the Lakers 8-4 in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late.
“It was just a matter of settling down,” Paul True said of Lake Region’s slow start. “The game is 32 minutes long. Thankfully, it’s not the first minute that decides it.”
Oak Hill’s Sara Moring, bottom, and Sadie Waterman, top, wrestle with Lake Region’s Rachel Shanks for a loose ball during the first half of Tuesday’s game at the Portland Expo. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
Oak Hill’s Julia Noel pulls up for a jump shot while being defended by Lake Region’s Bella Russo, left and Rachel Shanks during Tuesday’s game at the Portland Expo. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
Lake Region’s Rachel Shanks, right, pressures Oak Hill’s Sadie Waterman in the backcourt during Tuesday’s game in Portland. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
Oak Hill’s Desirae Dumais pulls up for a jump shot while being defended by Lake Region’s Jordan Weese during Tuesday’s game in Portland. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
Head girls ‘basketball coach Michael Labonte, left, and the bench looks out onto the court as time winds down on their season at the Portland Expo Tuesday after suffering a loss to Lake Region. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
Oak Hill’s Kaitlyn Ridley is consoled by teammates after coming off the court for the last time this season as time runs out during Tuesday’s playoff game against Lake Region at the Portland Expo. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)