In a Class D North girls opening-round upset, the sixth-seeded East Grand Vikings stunned the third-seeded Machias Bulldogs 45-27 on Saturday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor to advance to the semifinals.
The Vikings will take on the winner of the Class D North quarterfinal matchup between No. 2 Wisdom and No. 7 Jonesport-Beals.
The Vikings looked to be in control from the opening tip, and once they captured the lead, never turned back.
The improbable victory was made even more unbelievable by the fact the Vikings only had seven active players suited up for this contest.
“I said to them that this is your time,” East Grand head coach Matthew Day said to his girls before the start of the contest.
“We’ve got three seniors and a girl that’s hurt, so we said, ‘Hey we’re doing it for these guys,’ and they actually fought back and played smart basketball.”
Play smart basketball they did, as they employed stifling defense and a single-minded approach to halting Machias’ offense. Thanks to East Grand’s hound-like effort on the defensive end, Machias was never able to close the gap more than six points after the opening quarter.
East Grand’s Phoebe Foss led the team in scoring with 16 points, while Kristin Grant, who started the contest off 0-for-6, topped the scoring chart for the Bulldogs with 8 points. Emma Davis chipped in 10 points to pair with Foss’ tally, ultimately proving too much to handle for Machias’ defensive reinforcements.
Isabella Cowger’s play under the basket was crucial as well in garnering momentum for her team, with two huge blocks.