MONMOUTH — It appeared that Monmouth Academy developed a cavalier attitude when several foul shots didn’t fall in the waning minutes of a girls basketball on Monday night.

But it wasn’t that all. The Mustangs (7-1) shook it off and scrounged for every offensive rebound they could get as they inched their way to a 51-48 victory over Boothbay (6-2).

Monmouth senior forward Libby Clement (20) goes up for a shot against Boothbay junior forward Kylie Brown (33) during a game in Monmouth on Monday night. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Monmouth’s dominance off the glass intertwined with several key foul shots worked down the stretch.

“Shooting percentage anyways is a struggle for us,” Monmouth coach Katie McAllister said. “Just getting the ball in the air, sometimes we are too timid. 

“That was our huge advantage — we just got the ball in the air,” she added. “They even executed things what we haven’t even practiced. Tonight, you could tell they really wanted it. I am very happy with that.” 

Junior guard Emma Johnson (10 points), who stands 5-foot-8, spent most of the evening trying to stop Boothbay 6-foot-2 forward Glory Blethen, who scored a game-high 28 points.

“She is one of the best players in our conference I think so…,” Johnson said. “I just have to time my jumps really good and just face guard. Rebounding was one of our strong points in the game.”

Monmouth Academy junior forward Emma Johnson (4) guards Boothbay sophomore forward Glory Blethen (10) during a game in Monmouth on Monday night. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Johnson added that the full-court press helped the Mustangs, too.

It was anybody’s guess which team would come out on top in the final four minutes of the game.

The Mustangs were holding on to a 43-39 lead, but the stubborn Seahawks got back into it when senior guard Chloe Arsenault (11 points) conjured up a three-point play and scored another two points on a drive to the net, providing Boothbay with 44-43 lead with 2:38 left in the game.

The Seahawks took a three-point lead at 1:58 when sophomore forward Jaelyn Crocker scored.

But the Mustangs man-to-man defense and gutsy rebounding allowed them to catch up to the Seahawks. 

Alexa Allan dropped in two points and Abby Flanagan (team-high 16 points) hit two foul shots to move the Mustangs within striking distance. With 35 seconds on the clock, Flanagan hit a foul shot and guard Audrey Fletcher made good on three foul shots to put the Mustangs in the driver’s seat with a 51-46 lead.

Boothbay coach Brian Blethen had no problem pointing out what went wrong for the Seahawks, who never let up.

“You’ve got to rebound to win,” Blethen said, “and that is just the key to the whole game. We did not rebound.

“Those kids (Mustangs) have a nose for the ball,” he added, “and when players do that, they have success, and our kids did not have a nose for the ball tonight and could not consistently rebound, and that is to me where we lost it. We were able to move the basketball and got the looks we want from our offense, (but) you have to be able to defend and rebound the ball, and that’s where Monmouth won out tonight.


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