Driving to the hoop is Deer Isle-Stonigton's Kaylee Morey, left, while guarded closely by Schenck's Kristin Russell during Saturday night's Class D North quarterfinal at the Cross Insurance Center. Credit: Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times

Rylee Eaton refused to allow Deer Isle-Stonington to go down without a fight on Saturday night.

The junior, who missed the 2019 tournament after having a surgical procedure, scored six of her game-high 15 points in the final 3:38 to lift the Mariners to a 43-40 Class D North girls basketball quarterfinal victory over Schenck of East Millinocket.

The Mariners took care of the ball and executed crisply late to ensure another game at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

“It’s amazing,” Eaton said of playing in the tournament. “I’m so excited for our playoff stretch, so glad we get another game.”

No. 2 Deer Isle-Stonington (17-2) faces No. 3 Katahdin of Stacyville, a 32-12 winner over Washburn in Saturday night’s first game, in a 2 p.m. semifinal on Thursday.

Credit: Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times

“We tightened up our defense a little bit, started taking care of the ball better, stopped hacking and whacking,” DIS coach Randy Shepard said.

The Mariners had beaten Schenck (8-11) twice during the regular season, thus knew what they were up against.

“Schenck’s not a No. 7 by any means. They’ve got the hardest schedule, I think, in Class D,” Shepard said. “They’re a terrific team.”

Eaton also pulled down nine rebounds for the winners, who received eight points and five rebounds from Katie Hutchinson, six points from Brittany Gray and five from Kaylee Morey.

Laura Cote made five 3-pointers to pace Schenck with 15 points, while Abbigail Perrault tallied nine points and four rebounds and Cassie Russell added seven points.

Eaton seemed to sense the urgency with Schenck leading 32-26 and under five minutes left as she hit a 3-pointer that energized her team.

Credit: Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times

After two free throws by Schenck’s Perrault, Eaton made a 15-footer and scored from underneath off an inbounds feed from Morey get DIS within 34-33.

“I play my best when I don’t think about it,” Eaton said of her late efforts.

Gray put the Mariners ahead with a long jumper, but Cote buried the fourth of her five 3-pointers to give Schenck a 37-35 lead with 1:24 remaining.

It was all Mariners after that as Morey fed Hutchinson for an inbounds layup, Hutchinson sank two free throws and Morey made both ends of a bonus with 13.8 seconds left to make it 41-37.

Cote made another 3, but two Eaton free throws with 0.6 seconds left iced it.

“We come together when we have to,” Eaton said.

The Mariners committed 23 turnovers, but had only one in the last five minutes.

Credit: Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...