PORTLAND — Lincoln Academy was able to advance out of the Class B South girls’ basketball quarterfinals, but the Eagles were left with some scars.

Lincoln Academy got a scare from Wells in the third quarter, but pulled away late for a 43-33 victory at the Portland Expo on Tuesday.

The fourth-seeded Eagles (17-2) led by eight at the half, but that lead shrunk to one by the end of the third quarter. That wasn’t entirely a surprise to Lincoln Academy coach Kevin Feltis.

“They battled and scrapped, and they do a really nice job,” Feltis said of fifth-ranked Wells (8-11). “I knew exactly what we were in for. We talked about it on the ride up here today that it was going to be a dogfight, and that’s exactly what it was.”

“We scratch and we claw and we play hard,” Wells coach Don Abbott said. “That’s what we’re all about, and that’s what we want to play. Just proud of the kids and how they gutted it out.”

Lincoln Academy towered over the smaller Warriors, but the size of the fight in the Wells players was big during the third-quarter comeback. Natalie Thurber carried the load offensively, scoring 10 of her 14 points in the frame, while the surrounding cast did all the other little things.

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“I thought that she asserted herself and she stepped up,” Abbott said.

The Eagles were able to shake off the scrappy Warriors in the fourth. Junior guard Gabrielle Wajer hit four free throws and Kaitlyn Feltis — one of Lincoln Academy’s 6-foot bigs — made a pair of baskets.

“They made some free throws at the end and it got away from us at the end,” Abbott said. “I thought the difference was their size and their strength, more than anything.”

“It’s certainly an advantage to have four kids around 6-feet tall,” Coach Feltis said.

Seniors Avae Traina (5-feet-11) and Samantha Burke (6-feet-2) combined for 14 points, and Feltis’ six made it an even 20 for the bigs.

Feltis said a “mental reset” at the end of the third quarter helped his team, which started doing some uncharacteristic things in the third.

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Traina and Wajer each scored a team-high eight points, and eight different Eagles made baskets, giving Feltis the balanced scoring he was looking for.

Wells also had eight scorers, but the Warriors didn’t have a consistent complement to Thurber — or a long-term answer to the Eagles’ size.

“We ran into a buzzsaw today,” said Abbott. “A big, strong, physical team.”

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