AUGUSTA — Thursday’s Class C South girls’ basketball semifinal between top-seeded Richmond and No. 4 Old Orchard Beach came down to a four-and-a-half minute stretch of the third quarter.

Tied at 17 at the half, the Seagulls scored all 16 of the third quarter points in the first 4:46 of the frame, taking control and eventually coming away with a 38-24 victory at Augusta Civic Center.

OOB (13-8) will meet third-seeded Monmouth Academy on Saturday in the regional final at 7:05 p.m. The Mustangs upset No. 2 Boothbay, 39-30, in the earlier semifinal Thursday.

The Seagulls hit two 3-pointers, made a pair of free throws and forced seven Richmond (19-1) turnovers in the third. The Bobcats missed all 11 of their shots, and standout Sydney Underhill-Tilton went to the bench with four fouls.

For Richmond, the third quarter was a disaster on all fronts.

“We talked about how the first four minutes of the third quarter were going to be crucial, and we were hoping it was going to be us and not them,” said Richmond coach Mike Ladner. “We came out cold. They came out on fire. They hit those two 3s, and we were down just like that. They forced us to hit outside shots, and we couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn today.”

“We came out of the locker room a little bit flat, and we just couldn’t hit anything,” said Richmond senior guard Meranda Martin. “It is tough when you come out of the locker room in a tie game, they put in a couple shots and you are fighting from behind. There is nothing you can do except to fight and keep on going.”

OOB’s run

Emily Greenlee started the second half for OOB with a 3-pointer for a 20-17 lead. Moments later, Meghan LaPlante scored inside, followed by another bucket from Greenlee for a 24-17 advantage.

The points kept coming, with Maggie Strohm scoring inside, and Tiffany LeClair and Brianna Plante each hitting a shot. Plante completed the Seagulls’ uprising with another trey for a 33-17 lead.

Tilton, who had six points, eight rebounds and three steals in the first half, went to the bench with her fourth foul, and the Bobcats kept missing shots, trailing by 16 points heading to the fourth quarter.

Unlike the regular season, when Richmond downed OOB twice, the Seagulls did a good job taking Underhill-Tilton out of the game and keeping the Bobcats from going on a scoring run.

“Getting that fourth one and having to sit was tough,” said Ladner. “We like to go inside-out, and they forced us to shoot outside and it didn’t work. Games are called a lot tighter up here with three officials. They did a good job, just a tighter game.”

“It is tough when they have three big girls in there, and our big girl fouls out,” said Martin. “There is no one like Syd. She is so strong and tough under there.”

OOB extended its lead early in the fourth. LaPlante, who had a game-high 11 points, scored four straight points to make it a 20-point contest.

Richmond finally scored when freshman Bryanne Lancaster hit a deep trey, the only field goal for the Bobcats in the second half and Richmond’s lone 3-pointer of the contest.

“I give them kudos, they are a strong team,” said Martin of the Seagulls. “We like to play a fast game, and I think they slowed us down. They played great, aggressive defense.”

OOB struggled in the first half, making just four shots. However, three of those came from beyond the arc, with LaPlante scoring five points. Back-to-back treys by Kaitlyn Cote and Sam Donnell gave OOB an 11-5 lead, forcing a Richmond timeout.

Mackenzie Abbott brought Richmond back from the first-quarter deficit, scoring six of her team-high eight points in the second quarter. A 6-0 run gave Richmond a 14-13 lead, and Abbott scored inside with 3:56 left until halftime to make for a 17-14 game.

But those were Richmond’s final points over the next 16-plus minutes.

Despite the loss, Ladner is proud of the way his team battled this year.

“This was a very good year, our second in Class C, and we came out the only C team to go undefeated the entire regular season,” said Ladner.

Richmond shot just 13-percent (6-of-44) from the field, and made 10-of-19 at the free-throw line. Martin picked up five points and three steals, and Cassidy Harriman added three steals and two assists. Lancaster chipped in three points, six boards and two steals.

Plante had eight points and four steals for OOB, which shot 38 percent (12-of-31) from the floor. LaPlante’s 11 rebounds gave her a double-double, and she added four blocked shots. Strohm blocked five shots.

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