Witches sink key free throws in final seconds
BY ERNIE CLARK
OF THE NEWS STAFF
BREWER — The Brewer boys baskeball team built a 16-point third-quarter lead, then held on to edge Hampden Academy 64-62 in a battle of Eastern Maine Class A powers Saturday night.
Tickets for this sold-out game were at a premium, so much so that the doors to the Brewer High Gymnasium were closed more than a half-hour before game time with a large crowd still waiting outside hoping for a chance to gain entry to this contest.
And the game lived up to that anticipation, as Brewer took control early behind the all-around play of senior swingman Dom Drake, then held off a furious Hampden rally that drew the Broncos even at 59-59 when Nolan Turner stole an inbounds pass and drove in for a layup with 44 seconds left in the game.
Brewer’s Jordan Richards calmly made both ends of a 1-and-1 three seconds later to restore the Witches to a two-point lead, and after Hampden came up empty on its next possession, Nate Carson made two more from the line to give the Witches a 63-59 edge with 19.6 seconds to play.
Turner made a 3-pointer from deep in the left corner to make it a one-point game with four seconds left, but Drake made 1 of 2 from the line with 2.2 seconds to play and Hampden was unable to get off a quality shot as time expired.
The win enabled top-ranked Brewer (9-1) to sweep the season series from third-rated Hampden (7-3).
Drake finished with 23 points on 9 of 14 shooting from the field along with five rebounds, four steals and three assists. Carson added 15 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots for the Witches, while Ray Bessette had 10 points, six rebounds and six assists.
Jacob Moore paced Hampden offensively with 17 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Burditt added 13 points while hristian McCue came off the bench to score 12.