Cony pulls away in fourth to beat top seed
AUGUSTA -- It looks like a blowout, and you bet it was.
The wrinkle this time is that the team administering the beatdown was the No. 9 seed. Cony, which had to win a preliminary round game on the road just to get to the quarterfinals, manhandled No. 1 Edward Little 52-35 in Friday night´s Eastern A quarterfinal at the Augusta Civic Center.
Hayley Quirion scored 17 points and Josie Lee added 16 points and 18 rebounds for Cony (13-7), which will face No. 4 Lawrence in the semifinals at 4 p.m., Wednesday, at the Civic Center. Edward Little finishes at 15-4, with two of those losses to Cony.
The Red Eddies had defeated Cony early in the season, and while Cony won the rematch by a point, the Eddies thought they got the wrong end of a close call at the end of the game.
On Friday, there was no debate. Edward Little just didn´t shoot well enough to stay in the game, and Cony increased its lead as the game went on. Lee, Hayley Quirion, and Emily Quirion (13 points) each outscored Kory Norcross, who led the Eddies with eight points.
Lee´s rebounding was one of the biggest factors. Cony is undersized (Lee is the tallest player at 5-foot-8) and usually figures on getting outrebounded by a significant margin.
"Just fantastic," Cony coach Karen Magnusson said of Lee´s performance. "When we needed extra below, we got it. When we needed a shot, we got it."
Cony led by as much as 10 in the first half at 27-17 with 1:42 left after back-to-back 3s by Hayley Quirion. The Rams made five of their 15 3-point attempts in the first half, and nearly all of those 3s were uncontested. Hayley Quirion alone ended up with four 3s and 12 points in the half, and the Rams led 28-22 at the break.
In the second half, the Red Eddies got visibly frustrated. On possession after possession, an EL player put her head down and drove to the basket, or got a quick pass and launched an outside shot.
The result was about what you´d expect: After making just nine of 34 shots in the first half, the Eddies were six of 37 in the second half. The totals: 15 of 71, or 21.1 percent.
Trailing 32-24 midway through the third quarter, the Eddies put on a full-court press and got a couple layups to get within 36-31 at the end of the third quarter. Hayley Quirion banked in a 3 in the first minute of the third quarter, and Cony never looked back.
"We went 1-1 in the regular season with them, so we knew we could come out and play with them," said Lee, wearing a bandage above her eye after scratching herself going for a rebound. "I felt pretty good the whole game, but in the beginning of the fourth, I thought we had it."
Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243