BANGOR, Maine — For a while on Tuesday morning, the Narraguagus girls basketball team had to be worried about deja vu.

The Knights had come to the Cross Insurance Center last winter as the No. 1 seed only to lose in the quarterfinals.

Determined not to leave the Queen City as a high seed for the second straight February, the third-ranked Knights of Harrington broke open a close game in the second half and cruised to a 61-50 Northern Maine Class C quarterfinal win over sixth-ranked Piscataquis of Guilford.

“You don’t even know how good that feels,” said Knights coach Heather Thompson after her club earned a date with No. 2 Dexter in Friday’s semifinals.

Piscataquis finishes the year 13-7, while Narraguagus is now 16-3.

Neither team gave ground in the first half, as the Knights entered intermission up 29-27 after a first half where nobody led by more than four points.

But the Knights would open the third quarter on a 17-5 run, with freshman Kylee Joyce coming off the bench to score six of the points while Kayla Toppin, who led all scorers with 18 points, hit a pair of huge perimeter shots.

Piscataquis would close to within six by the end of the quarter, but the Knights responded yet again, with a Lanie Perry jumper and Kelli Kennedy free throw restoring the lead to nine.

The Pirates got no closer than seven.

Narraguagus did a precise job of attacking the Pirates’ 1-2-2 zone with patience, and that patience got the Pirates into foul trouble, while the Knights overcame foul issues of their own.

“We tend to get in foul trouble pretty easily because of the [aggressive] defense we play,” Thompson said.

The Knights were able to consistently wear the Pirates down, and 6-foot-3 PCHS center Delani Bennett fouled out early in the 4th.

“We practiced all week for these guys and I feel we did our job shutting [Jordynne] Littlefield down on the fast breaks and we tried to work on Delani as best we could,” said Thompson.

Littlefield did score 17 points and Bennett 11 for PCHS, but rebound proved to be an Achilles’ heel for the Pirates.

“They killed us on the boards,” said PCHS coach Brian Gaw. “I don’t know how many second-chance points they had. They attacked the glass really well on defense and offense.”

Cassidy Osgood added 11 points for Narraguagus, while Kelli Kennedy contributed nine more.

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Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports freelancer Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins.