MONMOUTH — Traip and Monmouth traded blows for three quarters, but a fourth-quarter run helped the Rangers overcome a steep rebound deficit and pull off a 49-41 victory in a C South girls basketball preliminary Tuesday.
The 11th-seeded Rangers will play No. 3 North Yarmouth Academy on Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center at 4 p.m.
The sixth-seeded Mustangs out-rebounded Traip 36-29 for the game and 16-12 in the fourth quarter, including seven offensive boards, but they weren’t able to take advantage of the copious second-chance opportunities.
“We held our composure, we didn’t panic,” Traip coach Scott Blake said. “They were getting the rebounds, but I thought offensively in the fourth quarter we really ran offense the way we needed to. We only turned the ball over maybe once or twice today. It was a really clean game and we ran what we needed to run to win the game.”
With 5:40 left in the game, Addy Hale scored on a layup to put the Rangers ahead 34-33. Hale later put an exclamation on her team’s 11-0 run with a three-point play on a fast break started by a steal by Kiki Huntress.
“That was definitely a huge turning point for me as an individual. I missed a couple layups here and there throughout the game and wasn’t hitting free throws the way I had hoped to, so that three-point play was definitely a big one for me,” Hale said. “I think it got everyone on the bench hype and into the game.”
Before the run, Monmouth had hung with Traip for more than three quarters. Traip never earned a lead larger than four points prior to the fourth, but Monmouth coach Katie McAllister wasn’t happy with her team’s third-quarter performance.
“I think it was the third where they really pulled it away and then we played consistently in the fourth,” McAllister said. “I don’t think there was anything in the fourth that really changed. In the third they were hitting shots.”
The third was the only quarter that Traip out-rebounded the Mustangs. The Rangers also received four third-quarter points from Hannah Thorsen, one of three 6-footers on the team.
Libby Clement and Katie Harris each scored a team-high 10 points for Monmouth. Harris finished with 11 rebounds, while Clement grabbed 10.
“We got killed on the offensive boards, and I don’t know why, either,” Blake said. “We are so big and we worked on it yesterday, trying to talk to our girls about when someone puts up a shot you don’t just turn and rebound, you turn and box out. More than likely the shooter was getting her own rebounds, which was killer.”
Hale, a junior, scored only three of her game-high 11 points in the first half. Traip’s 6-foot-3 center Gracie Salema scored six of her eight total points in the first half, after which the Rangers held a 22-20 lead.
Hale agreed with her coach when pinpointing an area of play that put her team over the top on Tuesday.
“I definitely think our balance of intensity and composure won the game for us in the fourth,” Hale said. “We hit our free throws late and knew we had to keep our cool.”