WORCESTER — In its fourth try, the Quaboag Regional girls’ basketball team finally took down Millis, 61-36, in a state semifinal at the DCU Center on Wednesday afternoon.
Playing a day later due to Tuesday’s snowstorm, the West champions
(18-6) avenged three straight losses to the Mohawks (16-9) in the penultimate game of the year to advance to Saturday’s state final at Springfield College (3:30 p.m.).
Quaboag will play the winner of Wednesday night’s Cathedral-Fenway game (Woburn High, 5:15 p.m.).
Quaboag used a 21-6 run to take control and earn a 23-16 lead heading into the half. The Cougars then opened the third quarter on a 9-2 run and outscored the Mohawks 18-3 at the start of the fourth for a 52-28 cushion.
“My kids were sick of losing to [Millis] and when you have five seniors the press isn’t as overwhelming,” said Quaboag coach Cliff Lanier.
“We broke the press and our defense has been getting better and better all year, which was also key.”
The Cougars were led early by freshman Kiarra Dorman (14 points, 8 rebounds, 6 steals), who had tallied 11 points in the state semis against Millis a year ago.
Along with Dorman’s older sister, Shaylah (5 points, 3 assists, 3 blocks), fellow senior Alexia Paquette totaled a game-high 16 points and 14 rebounds while controlling the paint for Quaboag .
“[Paquette] is so strong and relentless,” Lanier said. “The two Dormans are the same way and [the Mohawks] didn’t have that inside presence to stop [Paquette]. She was definitely a big advantage for us.”
Added Paquette, “This is something that we’ve wanted for three years. The past few years we’ve maybe focused on the score or let the nerves get to us, but today we played like nothing else mattered.”
Junior Meaghan Hourigan netted a team-high 13 points for Millis.
“Certainly not the way we wanted the season to end,” said Millis coach David Fallon. “I’m proud of the way our kids competed, we just didn’t play our best game today and credit to Quaboag, they played a good game.”
Quaboag 61, Millis 36
at DCU Center, Worcester
QUABOAG (18-6) — Emma Stanton 5 0 10, Cassidy Paquette 3 7, Shaylah Dorman 2 1 5, Addy Ford 0 2 2, Lexi Paquette 8 0 16, Kayla Klein 2 3 7, Kiarra Dorman 6 2 14. Totals 26 8 61.
MILLIS (12-7) — Lydia Flaherty 1 4 6, Meg Cullen 1 0 2, Meaghan Hourigan 6 1 13, Jessica Wagner 2 5, Caileen Adams 1 3, Abby Clark 1 3, Theresa Cerullo 2 4. Totals 14 5 36.
Halftime: Quaboag, 23-16. 3-pt. goals: Cassidy Paquette; Jessica Wagner, Caileen Adams, Abby Clark.