The Blue Devils hit an abundance of 3s, and those were key as Lewiston ran away with a 52-38 win.

“That was nice finally see those go in,” Lewiston coach Lynn Girouard said. “It’s been a rough season without those. It’s a good time for those to start falling. Hopefully it continues.”

Lewiston hit seven 3s overall. Kristina Blais drilled four of them, all in the second quarter. She finished with 20 points while Morgan Eliasen added 13, including a trio of 3s.

“Our shooting has been better the last couple of games,” Blais said.

The victory was critical for Lewiston (7-7), which was bumped out of a playoff position down to seventh in the Class AA North standings. Windham’s recent upset of Edward Little boosted the Eagles above the Blue Devils. The top six teams make the tourney. Lewiston still has a number of winnable games down the stretch, and Friday’s win was a step in the right direction.

“It’s a really big win,” Girouard said. “We’ve got four games left. If we play like tonight, I think we’ll be okay. They’re going to be battles. I think they’re all winnable games. It’s just a matter of putting a game like tonight together.”

Morse (7-7) is ranked fifth in Class A South, but has lost four of its past five games. The Shipbuilders got 15 from Signe Ostergaard and 12 from Emma Harrington. Morse struggled struggled offensively at times and couldn’t keep pace with the Blue Devils. Morse shot 3-for-16 in the third and 3-for-13 in the fourth, including hitting just one of its first 11 shots.

“We missed some shots especially down the stretch,” said Morse coach Becky Roak, who played for Portland when Girouard’s Lewiston team beat the Bulldogs for the 1999 Western A title. “We got some offensive rebounds and missed some put backs. You’ve got to put those in, especially when you’re behind. Those are killers.”

Lewiston led from the beginning but Morse was able to keep close for much of the first half. Tied 14-14 early in the second quarter, Blais ignited the Lewiston offense with a 3. She had 14 of her points in the second quarter as Lewiston shot 8-for-12 from the floor.

“That definitely started to stretch out the defense more,” Blais said. “It opened up the post more. It wasn’t like they could just not guard us. By us hitting the outside shot, it opened up the post.”

Lewiston moved the ball effectively, setting up the open outside look while also finding Victoria Harris inside. Harris finished with nine points while Alasia Branche added eight with some nice drives to the basket.

“We’ve really stressed that,” Girouard said of her team’s ball movement. “We’ve had three good days of practice. That’s what we worked on. We want to move the ball and keep everybody moving. We had been caught standing too many times. You’ve got to make them work a little bit.”

Leading 24-22 after a Harrington basket, Lewiston finished the half with an 8-2 run. Blais had a pair of 3’s and a fast break basket during the run that put Lewiston up 32-24 at the half.

“Obviously, from the perimeter, they were very good,” Roak said. “We didn’t get out on some of them and that really hurt us. You have to give them credit. They moved the ball very well. Blais really creates for her teammates. So we were able to rotate a little bit on some of her penetration, and they got easy baskets that way as well.”

Morse cut the deficit to 32-28 early in the third on baskets by Noa Sreden and Ostergaard, but Lewiston countered with an Eliasen 3, a drive by Blais and a fast break basket by Eliasen on a Blais pass. After an Ostergaard jumper, Eliasen finished the quarter with a 3 for a 44-30 lead. Lewiston hit five of its first eight shots in the quarter.

“I think our offense is clicking better,” Blais said. “Before the break, we were clicking very well. Then during the break, it kind of went away. Now we’re getting it back again.”

Harris and Branche had baskets in the fourth to preserve the lead while Blais added a pair of free throws.

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