BANGOR, Maine — Woodland High School senior guard Aaron St. Pierre had a productive night offensively with 13 points in his team’s 68-41 Eastern Maine Class D schoolboy tournament quarterfinal win over Ashland.
But it was his smothering defense that was even more important.
St. Pierre held Ashland 1,000-point scorer Jeremy Tarr to seven points, 22 below his average, and even Tarr was impressed by St. Pierre’s performance.
“He was phenomenal,” said the classy Tarr. “He was right in my face all game long … screens … it didn’t matter.”
“I just tried to play the best defense I could,” said St. Pierre. “I didn’t care about offense. My goal was to shut down Tarr. I tried to keep the ball away from him. As long as he didn’t have the ball, he couldn’t score. And I had a lot of help. It wasn’t just on me.”
Senior guard Ben Sears paced the Dragons with a game-high 17 points and he also had five rebounds as Woodland outrebounded Ashland 36-25.
Fourth-seeded Woodland improved to 13-7 while fifth-seeded Ashland finished at 13-6.
Chad James had 12 points and four assists for the winners and joined Sears and Tarr in the 1,000-point career scoring club.
Corey Rolfe, who sat out much of the first half with foul trouble, grabbed seven rebounds.
Carl Nemer and Lucas Hafford had 10 points apiece for Ashland and Jacob Paradis had eight points. Hafford hauled down five rebounds.
Woodland used an 11-2 spurt to close out the first half and take a 28-19 lead into the intermission.
James and Sears had four points apiece during the run.
The Dragons outscored the smaller Hornets 13-4 in the opening stages of the third quarter to sew up the victory.
Sears had four points and James had a 3-pointer and an assist as Woodland built the lead to 41-23.
“We came out real strong in the second half and played our usual ball,” said Sears.
“You couldn’t stop them off the dribble,” said Tarr. “They played wonderfully. They’re big, fast, quick and long. I don’t see anyone stopping them. I think they’re going to be state champs.”