AUBURN — Any time Edward Little and Lewiston meet on a basketball court, the basket seems to get bigger for Tianna Harriman and Kory Norcross.
After scoring a game-high 21 points in EL’s 64-29 win over the Blue Devils on Jan. 11, Harriman lit them up again in Friday’s season finale, this time for 27 points.
Harriman and Norcross combined for eight 3-pointers in the first half of that first meeting. It took them the entire game to duplicate that feat in sequel, but that was essentially the only suspense left for the second half of the Red Eddies’ 68-41 win.
“I’m usually really pumped up when we play Lewiston,” said Harriman, who accounted for five of the 3-pointers. “I feel better about playing when I do well against them.”
Norcross finished with 18 points, including three 3-pointers, in her final game on her home floor.
The Eddies finish the regular season 17-1, their best record since 1992, Val Brown’s senior year. They will meet Lawrence for the KVAC championship on Monday at the Augusta Civic Center, then enter the Eastern A tournament as the top seed.
The Blue Devils (5-13) are in the tournament, too, for the first time since 2004. But they will have to beat Mt. Blue in Farmington in Tuesday night’s prelim to get a third crack at the Eddies in Augusta.
Kristina Blais led Lewiston with 13 points, while Brie Wilson added 11 points and six rebounds despite battling foul trouble throughout.
Lewiston refused to go away early. Norcross’ first 3-pointer put the Eddies in front to stay at 8-7 midway through the first quarter, but it took some time for Harriman and Norcross to heat up.
Edward Little, which was playing without sophomore forward Emily Jacques (dislocated kneecap) crashed the offensive boards, led by Eraleena Hairston (seven rebounds, five offensive), and gave itself critical second chances. Both teams kept turnovers to a minimum, yet the Eddies took 33 shots to Lewiston’s 21 in the first half.
“I think we had some nerves, which is what happens on senior night in your last home game playing Lewiston,” said Norcross, the Eddies’ only senior. “We have a lot of height. We talked about that giving us a great advantage, so let’s go get some rebounds.”
Jenessa Talarico hit a jumper late in the the half to pull the Devils within 25-22. But Wilson went to the bench with her third foul with two minutes left and Harriman scored all but one point in a 9-0 Eddies run that closed the half, including back-to-back 3-pointers inside the final minute that gave them a 34-22 lead at halftime.
“I think that 3 that Tianna hit right before halftime was big,” EL coach Craig Jipson said. “It had been a three or four-point game. Lewiston was hanging around. I think when she hit that 3 to take it from nine to 12 it kind of took the wind out of their sails.”
“We hung around and gave them a run for their money. We had a little bit of energy early,” Lewiston coach Mike Labonte said. “But they started making some shots. They’re quick and real, real tough.”
Foul trouble kept Wilson on the bench to start the second half and the Eddies took advantage by making their first six shots to open up a 48-26 lead on Harriman’s third 3-pointer.
EL ended a 22-7 third quarter with a nice high-low pass from Molly Murrray to Karli Stubbs that made it 56-29 heading into the fourth quarter.