RUMFORD — Monmouth cruised from the start Saturday and finished its regular season with a 63-24 girls’ basketball win over Mountain Valley.

The Mustangs scored the first 12 points of the game and held a 20-4 lead by the end of the first quarter.

“We knew they were good, but we weren’t expecting them to shoot perfect for the first eight minutes of the game,” Mountain Valley coach Ryan Casey said.

Leading the opening charge for Monmouth were seniors Hannah Anderson and Abbey Allen.

Anderson drained a 3-pointer for the first points of the game on a second-chance opportunity that came after a rare miss from 3-point range from Tia Day.

Anderson scored six of the Mustangs’ first 10 points, and Allen had four.

Destiny Clough’s putback finished off the 12-0 start that was halted when Mountain Valley’s Courtney Carrier scored more than five minutes into the game.

“We have a tendency to start out slower in the game, so we’ve been trying to talk about starting out way faster now,” Anderson said.

“This is more the way we can play,” Monmouth coach Scott Wing said. “The only other time that we really played this way this year right from the get-go is at Spruce Mountain (on Dec. 28). Kids were all shooting, we were all firing on all cylinders, and that’s a good thing going into the playoffs. I think they’re starting to get a little bit more focused going into the playoff season now.”

Anderson continued to put the ball in the basket throughout the game and finished with a game-high 18 points.

“She’s just one of those kids that when she gets on a roll, she’s tough to stop,” Wing said.

Day’s 12 points came in bunches: first in the opening quarter when she made two 3s to turn a 13-2 lead into 19-2, and then in the second period when she made made consecutive treys to extend the Mustangs’ cushion to 30-7.

Eight Mustangs scored in the first half, and nine overall. Kaeti Butterfield added nine off the bench, Allen had eight and Libby Clement contributed seven.

Monmouth (17-1), which has locked down Class C South’s second seed, now has 19 days until it plays a game that counts in the quarterfinal round of the regional tournament. In the meantime, the Mustangs will face top-seeded Boothbay (17-0) next Saturday at Boothbay for the MVC championship, and Wing said they saved a scrimmage date from the preseason that they will put to use.

“We’re really excited for the playoffs,” Anderson said.

Saturday was a harsh lesson for the young Falcons, who are essentially a completely different team from the senior-laden squad that edged the eventual Class C state champion Mustangs 60-57 on the same court Jan. 31, 2017. But Casey appreciated that their effort continued through the final buzzer.

“Super-proud of them,” Casey said. “If you can be down by that much and you’re still fighting for jump balls and loose balls, then you can’t ask for much more.”

Brooke Carver led Mountain Valley with eight points. Rylee Sevigny, who the Mustangs keyed on and defended physically, added seven points, and Carried finished with five.

The Falcons (10-7), who sit sixth in B South, finish the regular season with a home game against Dirigo on Tuesday.

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