RUMFORD – A fast start wasn’t exactly what the Mountain Valley girls’ basketball team had in mind, but it worked to near perfection at Puiia Gymnasium on Wednesday night.

The Falcons rode the red-hot shooting of Kristen Arsenault, who scored a game-high 36 points, and the defense proved to be equally impressive in a 60- 37 triumph against No. 10 Cape Elizabeth in a Class B preliminary playoff game. The Capers concludes their season at 3-16

Mountain Valley (9-10) delivered a clear message by scoring 13 unanswered points to take a commanding 15-2 lead. The No. 7 Falcons advance to play No. 2-ranked York in a quarterfinal game at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Saturday afternoon.

“We’re a team that needs to set the tone and put away teams early,” Arsenault said. “We knew that we needed to go right after them, and our defense was sharp. It led to points off our transition game.”

Mountain Valley was effective early, with Arsenault scoring seven points and freshman Taylor Smith hitting two jumpers.

Arsenault (seven rebounds, six steals) had 13 points in the opening period to surpass 1,100-career points.

Devon Allen (eight points, seven assists), Katlin Drury and Tanya Martin constantly created havoc, leading to 27 Caper turnovers.

“We looked good for a while,” Falcons coach Wade McLaughlin said. “I scouted them pretty hard. I thought we recognized which type of zone (Cape) was in, and we adjusted and passed the ball. Plus, we was patient with the ball, and that’s some thing we haven’t been doing this season.”

McLaughlin will resign after the playoffs to take a government job in Limestone.

The Falcons led 29-16 at halftime and then iced the game by scoring the first 12 points of the third quarter. An Allen basket made it 34-16. and Smith nailed a 10-footer.

Mountain Valley received solid contributions from Christine Volkernick, Vanessa Cayer and Kim Clark who started fast breaks off defensive rebounds.

Cape was held scoreless until Samantha Culver made two free throws with 3:29 left in the third quarter. Brennan Belfour added eight points.

The Capers shot 42 percent, but only took 22 shots in the game. They made 11 of 18 free throws.

The Falcons shot 44 percent, were 10 of 14 from the charity stripe and had eight turnovers through three quarters.

“We played well against their zone,” Martin said. “Our defense created offense, and we didn’t want the season to end tonight. We are going to Portland.”

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