AUGUSTA — When foul trouble played a significant role Friday night, so did Jordyn Reynolds.

The Edward Little sophomore center produced the best game of her varsity career in an Eastern A quarterfinal win over Mt. Blue.

“I had to step up,” Reynolds said. “I had a shot and I took advantage of it.”

Reynolds finished with a career-high 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Red Eddies past the Cougars, 43-32.

Her 10 points in the third quarter were crucial as EL opened up an eight-point lead. Though Mt. Blue stayed within striking distance in the final quarter, the Red Eddies were able to finish off the victory and advance to Wednesday’s semifinals.

“I thought Jordyn Reynolds played absolutely phenomenal,” EL coach Craig Jipson said. “That was her breakout game. She kept us in it in the first half when we struggled to score. She came up very big.”

In addition to Reynolds, Tianna Harriman had eight points for EL (15-4) while Emily Jacques and Eraleena Hairston each had seven.

Mt. Blue (11-8) got 13 from Caitlin Kane and 11 from Eryn Doiron. The Cougars had just four people score.

“We did not rebound the b all very well tonight and that hurt us,” Mt. Blue coach Gavin Kane said. “Obviously, we shot poorly. I had us 8-for-35 from the field. On top of that, I thought our effort was tremendous. I told them that I can’t fault them one bit for their effort. I was very proud with how they came in and battled for 32 minutes.”

EL’s post play was hindered when Brooke Reynolds and Eraleena Hairston were in foul trouble. As if that didn’t provide an opportunity for Jordyn Reynolds, Mt. Blue watched Addie Brinkman pick up her third early in the third quarter and Mackenzie Harris pick up her third and fourth minutes later. That left the Cougars without much size for the final three-plus minutes of the third quarter.

“It’s so important for us to keep Addie on the floor,” said Kane, who had to pull her in the second after she picked up her second foul. “That makes a big difference for us.”

Five points by Jorydn Reynolds opened 21-17 lead early in the third, but Mt. Blue got within 21-20 after a basket by Kane and a free throw by Doiron with 4:13 left. EL then ran off seven straight points as Mt. Blue struggled to counter EL’s size advantage. Harriman scored off a fast break. Then Jordyn Reynolds converted an Emily Jacques pass for a 25-20 lead. She then scored her second three-point play of the quarter for a 28-20 lead.

“I just did what I had to do,” Reynolds said. “I’ve been struggling all year, and I finally just got out of my shell and did what I knew I could do. It felt good to be back.”

Mt. Blue missed its first four shots of the third and started 1-for-8. A free throw by Doiron and a basket by Rachelle Bator cut the lead to 28-23 entering the fourth.

EL opened the fourth by bumping the lead up to 32-23 on a rebound by Hairston and a Brooke Reynolds basket off a Harriman pass. Mt. Blue missed its first five shots from the floor, but Doiron and Kane kept them close with free throws.

“We felt like if we could put together a couple offensive possessions we were still right there” Kane said. “We’re probably fouled a little early, especially fouling the big foul shooters, but we still felt we had a shot even down seven or eight.”

Mt. Blue got within five with a Doiron drive with 2:06 left but free throws down the stretch by Jacques, Harriman and Brooke Reynolds padded the lead. Hairston then finished off a press breaker.

“I give Gavin’s team credit,” Jipson said. “Mt. Blue played really hard. They’re tough kids. Caitlin Kane is one of the best players in our league. Our kids just rose to the occasion. We got our butts kicked at Mt. Blue a few weeks ago. I just loved how our kids battled. When they made a little run, we had a nine-point lead and they cut it to five, we didn’t panic. We made some clutch free throws down the stretch. We haven’t been a great free throw shooting team all year.”

EL had just lost at Mt. Blue late in the regular season. Because of too many fouls in that game, Jipson went to a 2-3 zone that the Red Eddies don’t normally play. It did a nice job sealing off the inside and eliminating much opportunity for Mt. Blue to penetrate.

Six points by Kane and seven from Jordyn Reynolds and Jacques led to an 8-8 tie after one. EL took the lead twice on a free throw by Callie Murray and a basket by Jordyn Reynolds, but the Cougars managed to tie it up. Free throws by Doiron and Kane had the Cougars up 17-14 before a Jacques jumper ended the half 17-16.

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