September 16, 2019

Vikings overcome defense of Rams

BANGOR – While Bangor offered significant evidence of improvement Tuesday, visiting Oxford Hills of South Paris showed why it is considered one of the state’s top schoolboy basketball teams.

Senior forward Corey Tielinen displayed the versatility within his game, and the Vikings shot 54 percent from the field to remain unbeaten with a 57-46 win over the Rams at Red Barry Gymnasium.

Tielinen, at 6-foot-4 the tallest player in the Oxford Hills lineup, showed shooting range from the baseline to beyond the 3-point arc while leading the Vikings with 19 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.

“Bangor played really well,” said Tielinen, who is averaging 23 points per game during the Vikings’ 5-0 start. “We were averaging 75 [points] a game, but Bangor played good defense and held us down. We shot OK, not as well as some previous games, but we rebounded well and played good defense.”

Tielinen’s back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the second quarter kicked off a decisive 18-4 run that rallied Oxford Hills from an eight-point deficit to a 31-25 halftime lead.

“We played pretty well, and we probably had fewer lapses today than we’ve been having,” said Bangor coach Roger Reed. “We had one lapse just before the half that really hurt us, because they got a little run going. We were up by eight, and we knew we had to stay slow and patient. But we got rushing a little bit and took some quick shots, and they capitalized on it.”

Bangor (1-4) was able to keep it close for most of the second half, creeping within 33-30 early in the third quarter as junior swingman Aaron Gallant (23 points, seven rebounds) scored five straight points on a three-point play and a basket after grabbing an offensive rebound.

But Tielinen and the Vikings responded with nine unanswered points. Tielinen hit another 3-pointer and a follow-up shot to ignite the run, and brothers Thomas and Leif Kothe added baskets as Oxford Hills surged to a 42-30 lead, its biggest cushion until the game’s final minute.

“I thought this was a good test for us, to play against a team and a pace that’s like a tournament game, and we took their best shot in the second quarter,” said Oxford Hills coach Scott Graffam, whose club hosts unbeaten Brunswick in a key Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference clash Friday night.

After battling Oxford Hills to an 11-11 first-period standoff – an eight-minute span during which Bangor did not commit a turnover – the Rams outscored the Vikings 10-2 over the first three minutes of the second quarter.

Junior guard Jordan Heath (14 points) had a 3-point shot and two assists during the run, while senior forward P.J. Dowe added a basket and Gallant worked the low post for a basket and went outside for a 3-pointer to give Bangor its 21-13 edge.

“I think we came out and played a lot harder tonight,” said Gallant. “I think we’re starting to come together. We had some real good spurts. Obviously Oxford Hills is a very good team, but I think we played real well to stay with them.”


Oxford Hills (5-0) Bangor (1-4)

Player G AG F AF TP Player G AG AF TP

Powell 1 1 0 0 3 Heath 5 14 14

L. Kothe 5 5 1 2 12 Gallant 9 18 23

McVety 2 3 2 5 6 Dowe 1 2 2

Saunders 1 1 1 2 3 Astle 0 4 0

McDonnell 2 9 0 0 6 Prentiss 1 4

Gilliam 0 0 0 0 0 DeRosa 0 6 0

T. Kothe 3 6 2 2 8 St. John 1 3

Tielinen 6 12 4 4 19 Anderson 0 0

Fanjoy 0 0 0 0 0

Baker 0 0 0 0 0

Wagner 0 0 0 0 0

Cummings 0 0 0 0 0

Totals 20 37 10 15 57 17 53 46

Oxford Hills 11 31 44 57

Bangor 11 25 33 46

3-pt. goals ? Oxford Hills (7-9): Tielinen 3-3, McDonnell 2-4, Powell 1-1, L. Kothe 1-1; Bangor (7-28): Heath 4-12, Gallant 2-3, St. John 1-2, Dowe 0-1, Prentiss 0-1, DeRosa 0-6, Astle 0-3

Attendance: 400 (est.)

JV: Oxford Hills 47-41

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