The high school girls basketball game between Belfast and Medomak Valley on Tuesday night, Jan. 19 got off to a strong start for the Lions as Halle Tripp canned a trey and Lillie Mitchell a free throw to give the visitors a four-point lead.

That advantage proved short-lived, however, as the Panther defense ramped up the intensity over the final 31 minutes and prowled to a lopsided 45-17 victory.

It was the second game of the season for the teams, as they lost to Oceanside of Rockland in earlier encounters.

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After Tripp’s 3-pointer, the Panthers held the Lions to one more first-half field goal and as a team, the hosts finished with 28 steals, many of which were turned into transition baskets.

And those that were not were promptly gobbled up and eventually converted by a multitude of Medomak Valley offensive rebounds.

Medomak Valley outscored Belfast 15-0 spanning into the second quarter and led 11-4 after the first quarter, extended that advantage to 29-7 at halftime and jumped to a 39-9 edge after three stanzas.

Addison McCormick scored 12 points to pace the Panthers, while Autumn Ripley and Alyssa Creamer added eight; Abby Lash, six; Maya Cannon, four; Paris Pierpont, three; and Baylee Stewart and Sara Nelson, two.

Madison Farris scored six points for the Lions, while Mitchell and Tripp added five and Madison Goodwin one.

The hosts were 3-of-6 (50 percent) from the foul line, while the visitors were 4-of-15 (27 percent).

After Tripp and Mitchell gave the visitors the early lead, Creamer scored off an interior screen and back-to-back baskets from Lash gave the hosts a 6-4 lead they did not relinquish.

Cannon came up with a steal and converted a short jumper in a fast-break, two-on-one with Belfast defenders, while moments later, Pierpont converted the front end of two free throws — while McCormick collected and deposited an offensive putback on the second attempt — to give the Panthers an 11-4 edge.

In the second quarter, Medomak Valley assumed control of the contest.

The Panthers outscored the Lions 18-3 in the stanza, as nearly every Medomak Valley field goal came off a steal and fast break.

Ripley scored twice in the first minute off a pair of fast breaks, but Tripp extinguished the 15-0 Panther run with a jumper from the elbow.

From there, Ripley scored off a fast break, McCormick and Pierpont off offensive cutbacks, McCormick and Ripley off steals and a hoop from Creamer gave the hosts a commanding 27-6 lead.

Goodwin brought Belfast within 20 points with a foul shot, but Cannon beat the buzzer with a short jumper to give Medomak Valley a 22-point advantage at the end of the second quarter.

Belfast got no closer the rest of the way.