After losing the teams’ lone Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B regular-season meeting, the Medomak Valley girls basketball squad looked forward to perhaps another crack at Nokomis of Newport in the regional playoffs, hoping for a different outcome. However, in the end, the Panthers did not enjoy the second result any better than the first.

The No. 4 Warriors (15-4) defeated the No. 5 Panthers (14-5) 46-32 in Saturday afternoon’s Eastern Class B quarterfinal playoff game at the Bangor Auditorium.

It was the second win by Nokomis over Medomak Valley this season, including a 49-39 decision Jan. 12.

Nokomis moves on to the regional semifinals to face either No. 1 Presque Isle (17-1) or No. 8 Waterville (12-7) on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 8:35 p.m. Presque Isle and Waterville were to play a quarterfinal playoff game later Saturday.

On Saturday, things started well for the Panthers in the first quarter when they led 14-13. However, over the final 24 minutes, the Warriors outscored Medomak Valley 32-18, including leading 26-22 at halftime and 35-26 after three stanzas.

Keying Nokomis offensively were Julie Smith with 16 points; Marissa Shaw, 10; Danielle Watson, eight; Mary Badeen, seven; and Kara Batchelder, five. The Warriors made 8-of-17 free throws (44 percent). Smith is a former player for Belfast, but missed some time with the Lions early in her high school career due recovering from a serious knee injury.

For the Panthers, Alanna Vose netted 11 points; Lindsay Ranquist, seven; Lacy Massengale and Ericka Christensen, both six; and Mallory Conary, two. Medomak Valley made 2-of-5 free throws (40 percent).

“I thought we competed,” said veteran Medomak Valley coach Randy Hooper. “I thought we learned a lot from last year’s mistakes. Defensively, I thought we were pretty solid. I thought we made them work for everything for a while. And then, credit to them, they went spread with about six [minutes] to go in the fourth quarter and made us come out and really attack.”

The first quarter for both teams was a slugfest as both squads battled back and forth for momentum. Smith and Ranquist traded 3-pointers to start the game, but Smith found Shaw open on the foul line for a field goal and then hit her second 3-pointer of the quarter, helping the Warriors jump to an 8-3 lead.

Massengale then got to the hoop twice for scores around a fadeaway jumper from Shaw, cutting the Panthers’ deficit to 10-7. Christensen then scored off an offensive rebound to cut the locals’ deficit to one points, but Badeen came down and connected on a 3-pointer to push the Warrior lead back to four at 13-9.

Vose then scored the final five points of the quarter from a layup off a steal and a 3-pointer to close the stanza.

While the Panthers outscored the Warriors in the first quarter by a slim margin, the Warriors outscored Medomak Valley over the final three quarters to help them move on to the second round. The Warriors were 7-of-10 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, negating any chance for a rally from the Panthers.

Smith, who transferred to Nokomis from Belfast this year, was a headache from the get-go for Medomak Valley. She constantly came up with the big shot from all over the court and consistently set up her teammates with terrific dribble penetration.

“We lost track of her a couple times,” said Hooper. “We were trying to force her left and we lost her a couple times and she did a great job knocking them down from the free-throw line. She did very well.”

Click for more photos from the Medomak Valley and Nokomis playoff game.

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