April 05, 2020
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

Changes help Vikes top Brewer> Toohey scores 31 points to power Oxford Hills

BREWER – Although there was plenty of activity, Friday night’s game between Oxford Hills and Brewer resembled a chess match more than anything else.

As soon as one team solved the other’s defensive scheme, a new one would be implemented. As soon as one team stopped the other’s primary offensive weapon, a new one was emerged.

And so it was in a game of spurts, runs, point and counterpoint, it was Oxford Hills which answered Brewer’s check with checkmate.

Just as the host Witches were poised to retake a lead they hadn’t held since the game’s first two minutes, the Vikings of South Paris embarked on a 16-1 scoring run that put the game away and keyed a 63-49 win.

The run turned the Vikings’ 42-40 lead with eight minutes left into a 61-43 runaway. After scoring a basket to make it 45-42 Vikings with 7:41 to play, the Witches didn’t get the ball in the hoop again until the final 62 seconds.

“I think the key thing for us was the changing up of our defenses,” said Vikings coach Steve Pelletier, who used man-to-man, 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones, plus full and halfcourt presses. “I think that slowed them down and affected their confidence, their rhythm and their offense.”

Oxford Hills improves to 2-5 with the win while Brewer sinks to 1-4.

If this was a game of chess, Oxford Hills’ Kevin Toohey was the king. No… make that queen, since that’s the most powerful piece.

Except for the third quarter when Brewer switched from man to a 2-3 matchup zone that left Toohey triple-teamed whenever he got anywhere near the paint, the Witches didn’t have an answer for the Vikings’ 6-foot-3 forward.

“They should have gone to that earlier because that was the defense that shut us down,” said Toohey, who finished with a game-high 31 points and 15 rebounds. “We never played them before. I think this was my best game.”

Even when he wasn’t involved in the offense, he was involved in the offense – as a decoy.

After it became apparent the Witches weren’t going to let him near the basket in the third quarter, Toohey either faked drives to the lane and dumped the ball off to an uncovered teammate or went high-low – going inside, drawing attention, and kicking the ball out to an uncovered shooter.

The result was fairly easy baskets during the key run by James Bradeen and sophomore Keith Black, who got his first start in place of Justin Brown, who stayed home with his family to tend to storm-related matters.

Black made the most of his start with 10 points, six rebounds, and a surprising three steals for a 195-pound, 6-3 center-forward.

“He’s tough. I can’t wait to go in and congratulate him and all the team,” said Pelletier. “He’s been playing in the JV and varsity games for us. With no JV game tonight, you saw what he can do. Shows you what I know.”

Brewer was led by guard Adam Leeman, who had a breakout game with 16 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Center Tim Hughes had 16 points and seven boards.

“We changed up a lot tonight. We ran five defenses, but we didn’t play intelligently for 32 minutes. We had our spurts, but we didn’t play smart,” said Brewer coach Mark Savage.

After being down 35-22 at the half and 42-31 midway through the third quarter, Brewer went on a 9-0 run to close the half and get within a basket of Oxford Hills, thanks to three straight 3-pointers by Hughes.

Vikings 63, Witches 49

Oxford Hills (1-5) Brewer (1-3)

Name G AG F AF TP Name G AG F AF TP

Millett 0 2 1 2 1 Leighton 1 5 2 4 5

Mershimer 0 0 0 0 0 Morneault 0 0 0 0 0

Bradeen 1 12 3 4 6 Leeman 5 11 4 4 16

Lewis 3 10 0 0 7 Howard 0 0 0 0 0

Graiver 0 0 0 0 0 Sierer 0 1 0 0 0

Courcy 1 1 0 0 2 Griffin 1 9 4 8 6

Hobbs 1 6 0 0 2 Miller 1 2 1 2 3

Toohey 11 17 9 11 31 Johnson 1 6 0 3 2

Loveless 0 1 0 0 0 Dearborn 0 2 1 2 1

Cummings 1 5 2 4 4 Snell 0 3 0 0 0

Black 5 7 0 0 10 Kimball 0 0 0 0 0

Hughes 5 15 2 4 16

Totals 23 61 15 21 63 Totals 14 54 14 27 49

Oxford Hills 17 35 42 63

Brewer 14 22 40 49

3-pt. goals: Oxford Hills (2-12): Bradeen 1-4, Lewis 1-4, Hobbs 0-1, Toohey 0-2, Cummings 0-1; Brewer (7-25): Hughes 4-9, Leeman 2-6, Leighton 1-5, Griffin 0-4, Johnson 0-1

Attendance: 275


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