BANGOR – There were two too many Ashleys for the Stearns High School Minutemen Wednesday morning.
Six-foot-three freshman center Ashley Ames scored 23 points, hauled down 18 rebounds and blocked five shots, all game-highs, and six-foot junior forward Ashley Foster contributed 16 points and nine rebounds to lead Dexter to a 61-39 triumph over Stearns in their Eastern Maine Class C schoolgirl quarterfinal at the Bangor Auditorium.
"We changed our offensive philosophy," said Dexter coach Margaret Veazie, whose Tigers improved to 19-1 and face 18-2 Penquis Valley of Milo in Friday's 7:05 p.m. semifinal.
"In our two regular-season games against Stearns, we put Ashley Ames at the foul line and Ashley Foster down low. Today, we put Ashley Ames down low and Ashley Foster at the foul line. Ashley Foster is very mobile."
"It worked pretty well," said Ames, whose 13 first-half rebounds were one more than the entire Stearns team over the first 16 minutes.
"They executed their offense really well," said Stearns coach Greg Friel, whose much smaller Minutemen had no answer for the two Ashleys. "And we couldn't get our outside shots to fall. They played pretty good defense."
Dexter's man-to-man forced Stearns into a 3-for-25 shooting performance in the first half as the Tigers used a 26-8 second-quarter advantage to build a 37-12 halftime lead.
Ames' 15 points to go with her 13 rebounds and Foster's 12 points and five rebounds led the way in the first half.
To their credit, the Stearns girls kept plugging away in the second half but couldn't get closer than 19.
Brittany Veazie had 10 points, six rebounds and five steals for the winners and sister Kristy chipped in with five assists, five rebounds and four steals.
Leslie Osborne's nine points paced 13-7 Stearns. Ashley Boynton and Trisha MacDonald had seven points each. Kristina MacKenzie and Jennifer Raymond had five rebounds each.
Dexter outrebounded Stearns 44-26.
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