BANGOR, Maine — It must have been the longest 15 seconds of Brad Folmer’s life, but it was worth the wait as the smallest player on the court came up with the biggest rebound of Friday night’s Eastern Maine Class B quarterfinal game.
Folmer’s defensive rebound with two seconds left in overtime finally ended an unyielding upset bid by a determined Rockland boys squad and allowed No. 2 seed Ellsworth to wring out a 66-65 victory at the Bangor Auditorium.
After hitting the first free throw and missing the second with 29 seconds left in OT, Folmer watched as Rockland came out of a timeout with 17 seconds left and got off two good shots from the paint — the first of which was by Chris Nolan from the high post and the second by David Harrison on a rebound from the low post. Gentry Burch got a hand on the ball after it bounced off the rim, but it skipped off his hand and into the hands of the 5-foot-7 Folmer.
“They just kept getting rebounds and rebounds, but one finally tipped out and I just ran after it,” said Folmer. “I was just watching the ball and I knew I could sneak in there, so I stuck my hand in there and knocked it out.”
Folmer dribbled away the final seconds and the 16-3 Eagles advanced to a 2 p.m. Wednesday semifinal against Mount View of Thorndike. The No. 10 Tigers finish the year 10-10.
“The kids left it all out on the floor. We have some seniors who just didn’t want to go away,” said Rockland coach Matt Breen. “There were a few points where it looked like this game was going to be over, so I’m proud of them to get it back into overtime with a shot to win it at the end.”
Ryan Petros led the Eagles with a double-double (33 points, 11 rebounds), but you wouldn’t know it from his postgame take on his performance.
“This is a first time playing in the tournament for all of us and I think that definitely had an effect,” Petros said. “It definitely did for me.”
Petros was referring to his 9-for-16 effort from the foul line, but compared to the rest of the team, that was solid shooting as the Eagles shot a dismal 48.6 percent from the line.
Ellsworth missed 18 of 35 free throws, hitting just seven of 17 in the last 5½ minutes.
Petros hit Ellsworth’s only field goal and canned two of four foul shots in OT. His effort was just enough to blunt the impressive 1-2 punch of Rockland’s Nolan and Dylan Meklin.
Meklin finished with 21 points and nine rebounds while Nolan scored 28 points.
Guard Josh Harjula had nine rebounds, three steals and two assists for the Tigers.
Andrew Austin finished with seven points and 10 boards for Ellsworth. Ross Saunders came off the bench to get eight rebounds and two blocks, the last of which came in overtime.