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Waynflete junior Lydia Giguere goes up for a shot during the Flyers’ 44-28 victory over Traip Academy in Tuesday’s Class C South preliminary round contest. Giguere had a game-high 15 points to help Waynflete advance to meet Monmouth Academy in the quarterfinals Monday.
Joe Carpine / 365digitalphotography.com photos.
More photos below.
T- 9 6 6 7- 28
W- 10 10 9 15- 44
T- Eddy 5-1-11, Casey 5-0-10, Delano 2-3-7
W- Giguere 6-0-15, Brooks 4-4-12, Boedeker 3-2-8, Farrar 1-0-3, Burdick 0-2-2, Olney 1-0-2, Pope 1-0-2
W (4) Giguere 3, Farrar 1
Augusta, here we come.
Waynflete’s girls’ basketball team had a singular goal in mind when the 2016-17 season began and Tuesday evening in its tiny gym, the sixth-ranked Flyers made their dream come true when they advanced to the Class C South quarterfinals for the first time in three seasons.
Hosting No. 11 Traip Academy in a preliminary round contest, the Flyers, due to nerves and strong defense from the Rangers, started slowly and fell behind, 7-0, but a 3-pointer from junior Lydia Giguere, followed less than a minute later by another Giguere 3, got them going.
By the end of the first quarter, Waynflete held a 10-9 lead and the Flyers extended that advantage in the second period, thanks in large part to the play of sophomore reserve Emi Boedeker.
Still holding a precarious 20-15 lead at halftime, Waynflete turned to its strong defense in the third period, forcing seven turnovers, and didn’t allow Traip to cut into the deficit, taking a 29-23 lead to the fourth quarter.
There, the Flyers finally broke it open and went on to a 44-28 victory.
Waynflete got 15 points from Giguere, 12 from senior Annika Brooks and eight from Boedeker as they improved to 11-8, ended the Rangers’ season at 6-13 and advanced to meet No. 3 Monmouth Academy (16-3) in the quarterfinals at the Augusta Civic Center, Monday at 11:30 a.m.
“This means so much to me,” said Giguere. “I’ve never been to Augusta. I wanted to go and experience the feeling of playing on the big court in front of our fan section. I’m just so excited.”
Waynflete has shown steady improvement all season. The Flyers started 3-5, then won five in a row. After dropping three straight, Waynflete won its final two contests to go 10-8 and earn the No. 6 seed in Class C South.
Traip Academy won two of its final three games to wind up 6-12, good for the No. 11 seed.
The Flyers captured both regular season meetings: 37-32 at Traip Jan. 4 and 42-33 at home Feb. 8.
The teams had never met in the postseason.
Tuesday, the Flyers, despite a sluggish start, made sure the first meeting went their way.
Waynflete struggled with the Traip defense for over five minutes and dug an early hole, but managed to dig out of it.
The Rangers grabbed an early lead on a free throw from junior Reilly Eddy. Eddy added a layup, junior Cassidy Delano made two foul shots and senior Marina Casey added a short jumper for a 7-0 lead.
With 2:13 to go in the first quarter, the Flyers finally got the ball in the basket, as Giguere knocked down a 3 to break the ice.
“Nerves had a lot to do with it and we were rushing it,'” said Giguere. “We didn’t take our time. Momentum is what we needed. If we get down early, it doesn’t go well. I had my rhythm more than in the past. I was confident and shot well.”
Giguere added another 3-ball 33 seconds later and with 42.8 seconds left in frame, Brooks hit a jumper for the lead.
Traip retook the lead on a putback from Casey, but with a second left, Giguere banked home a shot for a 10-9 lead.
“Traip’s really good at defense and they have tall players, which we struggle against sometimes,” Boedeker said. “They shut us down a little bit, then we got our feet under us and got going. Lydia inspires us every time she swishes a 3. That gave us the will to push forward.”
In the second period, Waynflete forced nine turnovers and managed to extend its advantage.
After the Rangers went back on top on a bank shot from Delano, Brooks made two free throws and sophomore Boedeker followed with a steal and she made a basket after getting a pass from Giguere.
After Giguere made a layup after a steal, Brooks hit a baseline jumper for an 18-11 advantage, forcing Traip coach Scott Blake to call timeout.
Casey ended the run with a long jumper that rattled home, but Boedeker made two foul shots.
With 48.1 seconds left, Delano scored on a putback to pull the Rangers within five, 20-15, at the break.
In the first half, Giguere had 10 points, Brooks added six and Waynflete forced 14 turnovers.
The third period followed the script of the first two, as the Flyers started slowly, but closed strong.
After Delano set up Eddy for a layup and the first basket of the half, Boedeker hit a key jumper.
Delano again fed Eddy for a layup, but Brooks countered with two free throws.
With 2:57 to go in the frame, Casey made a layup in transition to cut the deficit to three, but down the stretch, Boedeker sank a rainbow jumper and Giguere pulled up and buried a clutch 3 for a 29-21 advantage.
In the fourth, the Flyers finished strong and packed their bags for a trip north.
Casey made a layup to start the frame, but junior point guard Izzy Burdick fed senior Ali Pope for a layup and with 5:41 left, Brooks banked home a shot for a 10-point advantage, 33-23.
Waynflete kept the pressure on, getting a rainbow jumper from Brooks and a layup from Giguere to essentially end the competitive phase of the contest.
After Eddy made a layup for the Rangers, junior LZ Olney scored on a putback and Burdick sank two foul shots to make it 41-25.
Delano hit a free throw for Traip, but a 3 from junior Ava Farrar accounted for the Flyers’ final points before an Eddy layup in the waning seconds brought the curtain down on Waynflete’s 44-28 victory.
“We had a talk and brought it all together,” said Boedeker. “We knew we had to get it done. We worked hard for each other and from the beginning of the season, we knew that we wanted to get to Augusta.”
“We’ve had some highs and lows this season, but we’re coming together at the right time,” said Flyers coach Mike Jefferds. “Our hustle defensively is where it’s at. It took a few minutes to get our legs under us. We knew the game would be won or lost on defense. If they broke our press, we’d be in trouble, but we flew around and got some steals and easy baskets.”
The Flyers were led by Giguere, who had a game-high 15 points (including three 3-pointers), as well as eight steals. She did all of that despite playing on a balky right ankle, which she injured in the regular season finale.
“I used ice and elevation and I felt a lot better today,” Giguere said. “Going forward, I think I’ll be totally fine.”
“Lydia is a hard worker,” Jefferds said. “She’s a leader offensively. She’s shot enough to have confidence. That’s key. She knows she has the green light.”
Brooks added 12 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
Boedeker had eight points, three rebounds and a pair of steals.
“I try to work as hard as I can, get as many rebounds as I can and try to play smart and get the ball to the open person,” Boedeker said.
“Emi’s great,” Giguere said. “She’s not afraid to shoot. She has great confidence for a sophomore coming off the bench. Credit to her. She’s always positive and working hard.”
“Emi’s solid,” Jefferds added. “As a freshman, she started the prelim last year after playing maybe six minutes all season. This year, she’s continued to develop. She’s added an outside shot to her game. That makes her a weapon. She knocked shots down and changed the dynamic. The turning point was when she came in the game.”
Farrar finished with three points and Burdick (four assists), Olney and Pope had two apiece.
Waynflete hit 8 of 11 foul shots and overcame 24 turnovers by forcing 29 by Traip.
“Forcing turnovers was important,” Giguere said. “That led to more offensive opportunities.”
“We stayed right on them and got steals,” Boedeker said. “It was nice to see everyone was there to help.”
The Rangers got 11 points from Eddy (who also had four rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots). Casey added 10 points, six boards, four blocks and three steals and Delano had seven points, seven assists and five rebounds.
Traip made 4 of 8 free throws.
Waynflete will take part in its first quarterfinal in three years when it battles Monmouth (which beat No. 14 Searsport in its prelim Tuesday). The teams don’t play in the regular season. Monmouth won two of the prior three playoffs meetings: 56-43 in the 1999 Western D quarterfinals and 46-41 in the 2008 Western C semifinals. The Flyers’ lone victory came in the 2001 Western D third round (57-55).
“We can’t underestimate them,” said Boedeker. “We know they’ll come out hard and we’ll have to as well. We have to push it from the start. Last year, we got to watch the boys play. All of us really wanted to be in their spot.”
“We work hard and don’t give up,” said Giguere. “There were so many times this season when everyone could have put their head down and we didn’t. That starts with Ali picking people up. It’s all about the attitude. We have to do exactly what we did tonight. We have to come out at the beginning and play hard. That’s our biggest hurdle. We have to shoot well and get ahead early. That’s the key.”
“Monmouth is a good team,” Jefferds added. “Unfortunately, I haven’t seen them yet. I’m confident we can hang with any Class C team. Taking our lumps during the season prepared us. It’ll come down to whether or not we can settle our nerves and deal with the atmosphere there.”
Waynflete sophomore Emi Boedeker makes a layup.
Waynflete senior Ali Pope battles Traip senior Marina Casey for the ball.
Waynflete senior Annika Brooks is trapped on the baseline by Traip senior Marina Casey (44) and junior Cassidy Delano.
Waynflete junior LZ Olney lines up a shot.
Waynflete junior Izzy Burdick drives on a Traip defender.