Maine State Champions Crowned
Over 4600 people filled the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday as Thornton Academy and Edward Little High School battled it out for the coveted class A Golden Ball.
Edward Little dictated the action throughout most of the first 28 minutes of play. Late in the third quarter they had built up their largest lead of the game at 9. But piece by piece Thornton chipped away in the fourth. They briefly took the lead around the four minute mark and with only two minutes left to play in regulation, trailed by only a single point, 43-42.
That’s when Ian Barwise stepped up. Barwise, who was part of a state championship team last year at Cheverus, showed the benefit of his experience when he calmly drilled a three-pointer that gave TA a 45-43 lead with 1:53 remaining in the game.
Unfortunately for EL that shot proved to be the beginning of the end, as the Eddies unraveled a bit from that point on. Over the course of the next two minutes they would commit two intentional fouls, have a technical foul called on their coach, and give Thornton an easy basket by turning the ball over.
Ultimately, Thornton showed better composure down the stretch by knocking down their free-throws and eventually pushing their lead to 53-46 with under 30 seconds to play. Despite three-pointers from Shane Ciriello and Corey Therriault, it was too little too late for the Eddies as Thornton Academy claimed the championship with a final score of 54-52.
Barwise led the way for Thornton with 19 points. Meanwhile their senior point guard James Morse punctuated his tremendous career by scoring 12 of his 14 points in the second half, including three clutch free-throws in the game’s final minute. Therriault led the way for Edward Little with a game high 21 points.
Camden Hills Caps Perfect Season with Class B Title
The Camden Hills defensive pressure eventually proved to be too much for Cape Elizabeth as the Windjammers were able to pull away from the Capers with a decisive force quarter. Camden Hills, who trailed by 4 at the half and led by 1 after three quarters, outscored Cape Elizabeth 23-11 in the fourth quarter to solidify a 62-49 victory. Gordon Fischer set the tone to start the final quarter of play as he scored his team’s first 8 points of the period. The senior finished with 22 on the night, including 16 in the second half. Sophomore Tyler McFarland scored 15 in a supporting role. Cape Elizabeth was once again led by Alex Bowe, who finished with 19 points. With the victory, Camden Hills not only captured the Maine Class B Championship, but also completed a perfect season with a 22-0 record. This was the second consecutive season that Cape Elizabeth lost in the state finals.
Calais Wins a Thriller in Class C
The final moments of the Class C championship game went back and forth and back again. Calais held a slim 37-36 lead at the two minute mark until Dirigo’s Nic Crutchfield made a short jumper seconds later to put his team on top. About 45 seconds later, Dirigo’s star Thomas Knight was sent to the free-throw line where he hit 1 of 2 to make it 39-37. Both teams missed opportunities to score in the ensuing possessions until with 20 seconds left Calais’ Cal Shorey hit a dagger three-pointer to put his team ahead 40-39. The final possession of the game would give Knight one last chance to put his team over the top, but unfortunately for the Notre Dame bound star his turn-around jumper bounced off the rim as time expired, allowing Calais to prevail with a 40-39 victory. Shorey led Calais with 16 while Knight had 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists for Dirigo.
Woodland Holds on in Class D
Woodland built up a 17 point lead only to see Richmond come charging back in Saturday’s class D championship game. But the Dragons were able to hold on down the stretch to earn a 49-43 victory and the school’s first basketball state championship. Senior Chad James led the victory with 23 points. Junior Corey Rolfe chipped in with 9 points and 13 rebounds.