July 05, 2020
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

Blackstone, Bangor get by Mt. Blue> Rams win title rematch

BANGOR – The rematch almost every Bangor basketball fan was eagerly awaiting since last March didn’t disappoint.

The Rams held off a determined Mt. Blue of Farmington squad 65-60 Monday afternoon at Red Barry Gym in the first meeting between the teams since the Cougars knocked off Bangor in overtime for the Eastern Class A crown.

Despite the passage of time, there wasn’t a noticeable drop-off in intensity. Both teams had to fight and scrap for every single loose ball, rebound, and pass – and there was no such thing as an uncontested shot.

“There was a lot of intensity out there. We were fired up. They were fired up,” said Rams guard Tom Waterman (11 points, six assists).

The Rams improve to 7-1 with the win. Mt. Blue is now 4-3.

“They’re a very good team and all, but we wanted to come here and prove something to them. Last year was a tough battle and it was hard to go out like that, so we came out tonight and did what we had to do,” said Bangor’s Mike Arsenault, who had 11 points and nine rebounds.

Bangor coach Roger Reed resisted the urge to use last year’s emotional loss to psych up his team.

“We never talked about last year’s game. That game’s water over the dam,” said Reed. “I didn’t use that for motivation because sometimes, when you try to exploit that type of thing, the kids will come out and try so hard they won’t play as well.

Ironically, in a game in which the biggest lead was nine points, there were only two lead changes – both in the first 3 1/2 minutes. After leading 2-0, Bangor went on a 10-0 run to retake the lead (12-7) four minutes into the game and never trail again.

Elliot Blackstone paced Bangor with 22 points.

Although it looked somewhat harmless on paper, Bangor wasn’t able to start breathing easy until they outscored the Cougars 7-2 during a 60-second span that turned an uneasy four-point Rams lead into a 65-56 bulge with 30 seconds left.

Despite a technical foul (his fifth personal) on Arsenault which gave the Cougars two foul shots and possession of the ball, and four points from Greg Sawyer (15 points), the Cougars ran out of time.

Starting out in a man-to-man defense, the Cougars took advantage of some Bangor defensive miscues to score some easy baskets inside in the first half.

“They executed their offense about as well as any team I’ve seen this year,” Reed said. “That was the key to what they did. We’re lucky to get out of here with a win today.”

The sluggish Rams’ man-to-man defense improved greatly in the second half and helped get Bangor’s fast break untracked against Mt. Blue’s mix of zones and presses.

“Once we started running the fast break, they couldn’t keep up with us. When we run, we’re the best team in the state,” Blackstone said.

In turn, the fast break helped open things up along the baseline, which Bangor drove to get either easy shots or fouls.

Another key was putting Waterman on Sawyer, who was held scoreless in the third quarter after eight first-half points.

Dan Bayliss led the Cougars with 16 points and seven boards, while Brian Demshar came off the bench to put up 11 points.

Rams 65, Cougars 60

Mt. Blue (4-3) Bangor (7-1)

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

Kamholtz 2 6 2 4 8 Waterman 4 12 3 4 11

Duffy 0 3 1 2 1 Loukes 0 0 0 0 0

Averill 1 4 0 0 2 Peoples 4 5 1 1 9

Sawyer 5 11 5 5 15 Blackstone 9 15 3 4 22

Alexander 1 2 0 0 3 Crane 0 0 0 0 0

Baylis 7 12 2 4 16 Arsenault 5 9 0 0 11

Scott 1 2 2 2 4 Pitula 1 3 0 0 2

Bri. Demshar 5 11 1 1 11 Clarkson 1 4 0 0 2

Turner 4 7 0 0 8

Totals 22 51 13 18 60 Totals 28 55 7 9 65

Mt. Blue 14 35 44 60

Bangor 19 37 52 65

3-pt. goals: Mt. Blue (3-8): Kamholtz 2-3, Alexander 1-2, Bri. Demshar 0-1, Sawyer 0-2; Bangor (2-7): Blackstone 1-2, Arsenault 1-2, Pitula 0-1, Waterman 0-2

Attendance: 250 (est.)

Preliminary: Bangor JV 61, Mt. Blue 45


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