AUGUSTA — Midway through the second quarter, Rangeley seemingly had had enough.
For the better part of the opening quarter and part of the second, the Greater Portland Christian girls’ basketball team hung around and made Monday’s Western D quarterfinal more difficult than the Lakers hoped.
GPC was within three points when Rangeley decided it was time to get down to business.
“We all needed to step it up,” said Chantal Carrier, a Rangeley senior.
The Lakers finished the second quarter strong and doubled their lead. Rangeley then broke the game open in the third quarter for a 65-43 victory over the Lions.
“You have to take your hat off to GPC,” Rangeley coach Heidi Deery said. “They came to play, and they hustled.”
Greater Portland Christian hasn’t won in Augusta since 1988, losing four times to Rangeley in the quarterfinals since then. Still, GPC nearly beat Valley last year in the quarterfinals, losing by one.
“We came in knowing it was going to be a tough game,” Chantal Carrier said. “Everybody always plays up in the Augusta Civic Center.”
Rangeley beat the Lions 62-24 during the regular season, but didn’t have an easy time of it early on Tuesday.
The Lions stayed within five points for most of the first quarter and trailed 20-17 with 4:08 left before halftime.
“Defensively, we didn’t play our game, and I’m not happy about that,” Deery said. “I also know we can do it. It’s not something technique-wise we’re not doing right. We’re just not up on our toes and playing with intensity, which is our trademark.”
Chantal Carrier led Rangeley with 20 points, while Emily Carrier had 16.
“I was really proud of Emily and Chantal,” Deery said. “They’re seniors and you need them to step up, and they did. They were getting to the right spots offensively, and they were feeding off each other, which is fun to watch. We wanted to attack the baseline, and they were doing exactly that.”
Taylor Esty added 16 points and pulled in 16 rebounds for the Lakers (17-2). Blayke Morin added nine points.
Elaine Beech led GPC (8-10) with 15 points before she fouled out with 3:34 left. Suzane Gonzalez added 12.
A basket in the post by Gonzalez late in the first quarter cut the Lakers lead to 11-10. Rangeley then finished the quarter with a 7-2 run to take an 18-12 lead after one.
After an Emily Carrier free throw, Chantal Carrier scored off a steal. Beech answered, but Emily Carrier scored twice for the six-point lead.
In the second, Ashlee Dawson hit a 3-pointer and two Gonzalez free throws cut the lead to 20-17.
“We were just running back on defense and not really playing with intensity, like we have been,” Chantal Carrier said. “I think the girls realized that.”
Rangeley responded with a 12-1 run that opened a 32-20 lead at the half. The Carrier sisters combined for nine points in the second and 15 in the third. The Lakers got in the flow offensively and started to execute better.
“We’ve definitely played a lot together and that helps,” Emily Carrier said.
Chantal Carrier hit a short jumper and Morin put back a rebound to open a 24-17 lead. Then Emily Carrier drilled a 3-pointer to make it 27-10 with 2:24 left. After a Jessica Smith free throw for GPC, Tori Letarte hit a corner jumper, Esty hit a 3-pointer and Emily Carrier sank a pair of free throws.
Then in the third, an Emily Carrier basket and two from Chantal Carrier started the quarter with a 6-0 run. Emily Carrier added a 3-pointer later in the quarter. Back-to-back baskets by Chantal Carrier and four points from Esty in the quarter led to a 51-33 lead entering the final quarter.