The undefeated Houlton Shiretowners were pushed to the limit Friday afternoon by the Central Red Devils, in a toe-to-toe battle at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

The top-seed Shiretowners (20-0) held off No. 5 Central 41-38 to advance to the regional finals on Saturday against the Dexter Tigers.

The lead changed hands several times in the final three minutes before Houlton was able to seal the victory with some key free throws from  Kolleen Bouchard and Abbie Worthley.

Bouchard led the Shiretowners with 21 points, leaving her 16 points shy of 2,000 points for her career. Worthley added eight points for Houlton.

For Central, senior Sydney Allen scored 17 points. Sophomore Emilee Cohen scored 10 in the loss.

Next: Houlton will play Dexter for the regional title at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.