The second-seeded Penobscot Valley High School Howlers received 16 points from sophomore guard Ellie Austin and 12 apiece from twins Kaya and Holly Loring and breezed to a comfortable 54-16 win over the scrappy 10th-seeded Sumner High School Tigers in their Class C North quarterfinal at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Monday.
The 18-1 Howlers will take on 18-1 third seed Hodgdon in Thursday’s 2 p.m. semifinal.
Callie Chase and Jenna Colby had four points each for Sumner, which wound up 9-11.
It was a physical contest with the Tigers trying to combat PVHS’ significant size advantage with its aggressive style of play, especially under the boards.
But PVHS’ swarming zone trap was too much for the Tigers to handle as they turned the ball over repeatedly against the tall and long-armed Howlers.
The Howlers consistently tipped passes away and often wound up with steals off them.
PVHS coach Nate Case said he was glad his team faced a physical team.
“When a team is undermanned and not afraid to play physical, we have to embrace it and play through it,” Case said. “Play together. There’s five of you. They challenged us physically and it’s what we needed the most.”
He said his team met its goals.
“Our goals are to hold the opponent under 20 and score over 60,” he said. “We missed 15 free throws. If we made those, we’re all set. Defensively, we did what we regularly do. We did our job.”
Kaya Loring said the Howlers’ defense was the key to the win.
“Our defense is what we practice and preach. We pressured them for three-quarters of the game,” said Loring, the older of the twins. “And we played better in the second half.”
PVHS held Sumner to an 8-for-37 shooting performance.
The Howlers scored the last 12 points of the first half to take a 27-8 lead into the intermission and then scored the first eight of the third period to sew up the win.
Austin had six rebounds and six steals to go with her 16 points.
Holly Loring had 14 rebounds and three steals to accompany her 12 points and Kaya Loring added six rebounds and four steals to go with her 12 points.
The Lorings each had two assists, also.
Colby grabbed five rebounds for Sumner while Brooklyn Newenham and Bri Flaherty had four apiece.