PORTLAND — It took more than a minute for Leavitt to find the basket Tuesday in its Western Class B quarterfinal against Cape Elizabeth.

When the Hornets finally got on track, there was no slowing them down.

Adrianna Newton and Courtney Anderson rattled off a combined five consecutive baskets in less than 45 seconds — thanks in part to three steals from Newton — to take control of the game early as Leavitt raced off with a 67-39 victory over Cape Elizabeth at the Portland Expo.

“We try to get the kids out of the gate early, and they fire up off of steals and quick defensive transitions,” Leavitt coach Tammy Anderson said. “Once I see them start to get into a rhythm, it lets me relax a bit as a coach, knowing it’s turning into what we want as a tempo.”

Kristen Anderson led all scorers with 21 points for No. 2 Leavitt. Newton added 12 and 15 rebounds and Courtney was steady with 11 points for the Hornets, who advance to Thursday’s Western B semifinal to face No. 3 Lake Region.

It took a couple of minutes for the Hornets to settle in on a foreign floor, but once they did, there was little Cape Elizabeth could do.

“We can’t simulate what they do in practice,” Cape Elizabeth coach Christine Roberts said. “That speed, those are athletic kids who do a very good job at playing basketball. It’s the whole, bright lights and getting used to playing here, and then bam, they’re right on top of you. We settled down, after that first onslaught, but unfortunately you can’t spot a team like that 17 points.”

“It’s important for us to be a fast-paced team,” Newton said. “We don’t really like playing the half-court, so we like to press and do exactly what we did.”

And perhaps more scary for Leavitt’s next opponents isn’t the fact that the Hornets racked up another 67 points, but rather the 39 they allowed, including only one long-range 3-pointer in the first and a handful of points in so-called garbage time in the fourth.

Thanks to Newton, Leavitt also enjoyed a healthy advantage on the boards. Newton accounted for 15 — including 11 on the offensive glass — as the Hornets outrebounded the Capers 42-20 for the game.

“We want to make sure we get to every rebound we could, because we’re kind of little,” Newton said. “We knew that, and we knew defensively we wanted a one-and-done, and offense we wanted to get as many rebounds and opportunities as we could so we could take over the game.”

“They’re relentless, and they want the ball,” Roberts said. “That was probably the best thing for my kids to see. Not only do those kids know how to play basketball, but they don’t give up until the ball either goes in for them, or they’ve done everything they can to get second, third, fourth shots. They have no height, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at their stats. It’s a style of play we didn’t see in the conference this year.”

Cape couldn’t gain an edge from the line, either. Two players — both Andersons — went to the line for Leavitt, and each player swished each chance from the stripe, going a perfect 11-for-11.

“We’ve been up and down with that all year long,” Tammy Anderson said. “One thing we told the kids coming into the playoffs, is that every point matters, every point matters, and it’s not just at the end.”

It was a solid first experience for Cape Elizabeth, making its first quarterfinal appearance in 15 years. And the Capers believe they’ll be back, sooner rather than later.

“I started two freshman, a sophomore, a junior and a senior,” Roberts said. “Hopefully they get a taste in their mouth of what it’s all about, and next year we say, just getting there isn’t enough.”

For the Hornets, next up is the Western B semifinal round, with which they are well-acquainted.

“We’re just happy that we got this one under our belt, and the kids got to play in a playoff situation,” Tammy Anderson said. “We came into semis last year and didn’t shoot real well. But we don’t worry about missed shots. We didn’t last year when we walked out of here with a loss, because it can happen. But one thing this group will always do is give you 150 percent.”

Click here to view more action photos from the Leavitt vs Cape Elizabeth basketball game.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.