The No. 6 Medomak Valley girls basketball team battled more than No. 3 Lawrence of Fairfield to begin the Class A North quarterfinal playoff game on Friday afternoon, Feb. 15 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Panther guard/forward and floor general Abby Lash came down with an intense illness the day before and, ultimately, it was determined by coach Ryan McNelly that the talented 5-foot 9-inch sophomore would take in nearly all the game from the bench.

Despite being without one of its key contributors, Medomak Valley hung tough with Lawrence throughout the first three quarters — before it ran out of gas in the fourth — as the Bulldogs went on an 18-2 run to start the stanza and clawed to a 57-33 high school court victory.

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With the win, Lawrence (13-6) will face No. 2 Hampden Academy (15-4) in the semifinals on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at the same venue.

No. 2 Hampden Academy defeated No. 7 Erskine Academy of South China 44-26 in another quarterfinal on Friday.

Medomak Valley’s campaign concluded at 11-8.

Lash made a brief appearance late in the first quarter, but sat for the remainder of the contest.

“Before the bus left at 12:45 she came into my office and said she did not feel right,” said Medomak Valley athletic director Matt Lash, also Abby’s father. “It just got worse. Fever, chills, aches. She was shaking in the locker room before the game. Same stuff everyone has had. Just bad luck. She tried."

“We had sickness all week, but we battled through it,” said McNelly. "Abby’s a huge part of our team and her coming off the bus saying, ‘Oh my goodness I don’t know if I can do this,’ it was a scramble the last five minutes honestly [before the game]. They came out, didn’t have a great rhythm, but they battled back and being down just three at halftime was amazing.”

Lawrence led 10-8 after the first quarter, 20-17 at halftime and 37-29 after three quarters.

Lydia Simmons, Mackenzie Bickmore, Aubrey Schaeffer and Sadie Cohen scored six points for Medomak Valley, while Maddy White added four; Kayla Donlin, three; and Alyssa Creamer, two.

Simmons also battled illness  onFriday — though it was not known if it was the same as teammate Abby Lash's — and scored Medomak Valley's first two hoops of the game.

Brooklyn Lambert keyed the Lawrence offensive attack with 18 points, while Keagan Alley added 13; Sarah Poli, 12; Megan Curtis, five; Savannah Weston, four; Lydia Townsend, three; and Lauren Hume, two.

The Panthers were 2-of-5 (40 percent) from the charity stripe, while the Bulldogs were 9-of-12 (75 percent).

Schaeffer started for Lash and had one of the most significant baskets of the game — a four-point play as time expired in the third quarter after she collected a loose ball and heaved up a "prayer" shot — to put Medomak Valley down eight points.

But, the Bulldogs went on an 18-2 run to begin the fourth, which put the game out of reach for the lower-seeded Panthers.

“We were gassed,” said McNelly. “Brooklyn Lambert’s amazing. They just fed off her. When you have a game like this, it doesn’t have to be much, just that half a step and they were half a step ahead.”

While Abby Lash is an integral part of the Panther team, McNelly reiterated she is only one player.

The coach said, in a nutshell: “It was rebounding, they had more athletes and they had more energy than we did.”

Medomak Valley held a pair of brief leads early in the first quarter, but Poli broke a 6-6 tie when she scored off a turnover to give Lawrence a lead it did not relinquish.

Lawrence looked to slowly pull away in the second quarter as it led by seven twice in the stanza — the latter instance being after a baseline jumper by Lambert — but White scored on a fast-break layup and again on a hoop in transition just ahead of the halftime buzzer as Medomak Valley was down three points at halftime.

Cohen scored down on the block to bring the Panthers within a point, but the Bulldogs went on a 12-0 run and, ultimately, took a 32-19 lead.

Lambert had back-to-back hoops followed by a free throw from Curtis before Poli corralled an offensive putback off an airball by a teammate. Lambert then dished to Alley on a fast break to put Lawrence up 10 points, which prompted a Medomak Valley timeout, but the Panthers were then called for a technical foul for too many players on the floor out of the timeout.

Lambert hit one technical free throw and an offensive putback by Weston gave Lawrence the 13-point cushion.

Bickmore, one of the team's four seniors, scored six of the game’s next eight points to help the Panthers stay alive prior to Schaeffer’s improbable four-point play as the third-quarter buzzer sounded.

McNelly, who dug deeper into his bench than he may have liked for a tournament game, praised Bickmore’s effort — particularly scoring six points in a row in the third — to keep the Panthers in striking distance.

"For a kid that’s just been a role player all year and [to come up with] six huge points [was great], but we just couldn’t build off it.”

Lambert began the fourth with a 3-pointer and an offensive putback — and after a hoop by Donlin — Lawrence scored the next 13 points as the higher seed pulled away.

The Panthers and Bulldogs faced off once during the regular season, as the Bulldogs posted a 69-51 win on Jan. 12 in Waldoboro.