Monmouth Academy’s Abbey Allen lays the ball in off the glass over Searsport’s Kaylee Knowles during their playoff game in Monmouth on Tuesday.

MONMOUTH — Well, it was nice to get that out of the way.

Monmouth Academy opened the postseason with a 56-25 win over Searsport in a Class C South girls’ basketball preliminary Tuesday night.

“I just said to the girls, it’s nice to get right to the tournament, but it’s also nice sometimes to have this game, as long as you win the thing, to kind of break the ice,” Monmouth coach Scott Wing said.

It took about half a quarter Wednesday, but once the ice did break, the Mustangs took off.

Midway through the period, Searsport beat Monmouth’s press by passing over it to Ashten Wells, who laid in a wide-open layup. That made the score 5-4 in favor of Monmouth.

Emily Grandahl hit a high-arcing jumper at the other end and then grabbed a rebound and put it in to finish a personal run of five straight Monmouth points.

That second bucket by Grandahl produced two of several second-chance points that powered the Mustangs on Wednesday.

“We just wanted to focus on getting rebounds,” Grandahl said, “because we knew they were a good rebounding team, so we focused on boxing and and getting our own offensive rebounds. We tend to take a lot of outside shots, so he wanted our post players to crash and get the rebounds.”

Abbey Allen added a free throw and Tia Day drained a pair of 3-pointers to make it 16-4 at the end of the opening quarter.

Julia Johnson scored five straight points to open the second to make it 21-4 for the Mustangs. Searsport’s Mikeala Alley hit a free throw to finally end Monmouth’s run at 16-0 points.

“We’re a team of runs,” Day said, “so we always tell ourselves that we need to go on runs, and once one person starts knocking down shots, it seems like other people start knocking down shots.

“There’s no real secret, we just start finishing some shots.”

The Mustangs continued to score while holding the Vikings to only two more free throws — also by Alley — before halftime, when the score was 31-7.

When Alley scored a bucket around the five-minute mark of the third quarter, it ended a nearly two-quarter stretch of no field goals by Searsport.

Head coach Mel Grant said scoring has been an issue for the Vikings this season.

“It depends on which team shows up, the one with confidence or the one without,” Grand said. “Obviously, the one without showed up in the first half. We’ve had a hard time scoring all year. At times we can put up 40 in a quarter, and then, boom, we shut right down.

“And their pressure and their quickness intimidated us, really. I mean that was really what it was.”

Alley scored the bulk of Searsport’s points, finishing with 18.

The large deficit allowed Wing to use even more of his bench than he normally does, and all 12 players on the roster played at least half of a quarter.

The Mustangs’ scoring was spread out pretty evenly. Destiny Clough and Abby Ferland each finished with a team-high 10 points. Day had eight, and Grandahl scored five.

“We do have a lot of depth,” Wing said. “It’s unfortunate that we have kids that on another year would be playing quite a bit. We just have so many kids it’s been hard to get them in the game, and get into a flow, because you need to have kids on the court to get into a flow.

“But, we’ve got kids that can step off the bench and definitely fill holes when we need it.”

Monmouth, the third seed in C South, moves on to the quarterfinals at the Augusta Civic Center, where they will face Waynflete on Monday. The sixth-seeded Flyers defeated Traip 44-28 on Wednesday.

“It would have been nice to go right to the Civic Center, but having a game before you go to the Civic Center really gets you ready,” Grandahl said.

Monmouth High School’s Abby Ferland, left, goes up for a shot in front of Searsport’s Mikaela Alley during their playoff game in Monmouth on Tuesday.Monmouth Academy’s Kaeti Butterfield, right, looks to pass around Searsport’s Mikaela Alley during their playoff game in Monmouth on Tuesday.Monmouth Academy sophomore Julia Johnson sizes up a free throw during a playoff game against Searsport in Monmouth on Tuesday.Monmouth Academy’s Abbey Allen, left, tries to penetrate the defenses of Searsport’s Brooklyn Alberts during their playoff game in Monmouth on Tuesday.

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