Narraguagus' Madison Leighton, right, has the ball knocked away by Calais' Olivia Huckins during Tuesday morning's Class C North quarterfinal. Credit: Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times

BANGOR, Maine — The Calais Blue Devils entered their Monday morning Class C North quarterfinal basketball game with a list of reasons they shouldn’t have won.

They were a No. 11 seed, facing a third-ranked foe. They were young, with only one senior offering valuable experience. And their head coach, Arnold Clark, was back home in Calais, recovering from a health issue. That left the head coaching duties to athletic director Randy Morrison, who last prowled the basketball sidelines as a boys coach back in 2001.

No big deal.

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The Blue Devils held the Knights to a 2-for-15 shooting effort in the second quarter while building a six-point lead and never trailed again, riding the 22-point effort of sophomore star Lauren Cook to a 53-49 victory and a berth in a 2:05 p.m. semifinal against No 2 Dexter, a 52-13 winner over No. 7 Fort Kent. Narraguagus’s only other loss on the season came at the hands of the Blue Devils.

Morrison credited his team’s defense for the win.

“We wanted to put some pressure on them to get them out of their half-court set, because they had a better inside game than we did, and we just felt we could put some pressure on them and move their offense out.”

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Morrison said he found out that Clark was ill a week ago, on the day of the team’s Tuesday prelim. He said he has visited Clark, but doesn’t know if the longtime coach will be able to coach on Friday. He stepped in as acting coach because JV coach Lauren Remington is in her first year with the team and he didn’t want to put undue pressure on her.

Narraguagus employed a box-and-one defense against Cook, matching Kirstin Kennedy on the speedy soph and double-teaming when possible. That tactic limited Cook to just four first-half field goal attempts, but didn’t really slow her.

Cook spent the entire second quarter driving to the hoop and drawing fouls, and ended up making nine of 10 in the period as Calais made its move.

[ The latest schedule and scores from the Maine high school basketball tournament ]

Freshman Sophie McVicar added 10 points for the 15-5 Blue Devils, who shot an efficient 51 percent from the floor (18-for-35) for the game. Calais also shot 75 percent (12-for-16) from the foul line.

Kylee Joyce led Narraguagus (18-2) with 12 points. Kaci Alley added 11 points and nine rebounds, while Madison Leighton scored 10.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...