BANGOR — The Bangor High School boys basketball team features a frontcourt tandem that few rivals in Eastern Maine can match, certainly not a much smaller Lewiston team on Tuesday night.
Zach Blodgett, Josiah Hartley and Patrick Stewart combined for 44 points and 25 rebounds as the top-ranked Rams extended their winning streak to 12 games with a 61-40 victory over the Blue Devils in a Class A matchup at Red Barry Gymnasium.
“Everything we run in sets we try to get high-low action,” said Bangor coach Roger Reed, whose team is now 12-1. “There are four or five options out of every set we run, and every one of them are designed to end up in a high-low with Zach, Josiah and Patrick involved.
“When we get those guys working together, it’s a tough matchup for teams.”
Blodgett, a 6-foot-3 senior, led the way with 23 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists during a game in which Bangor never trailed. All five of Blodgett’s assists went to Hartley, who scored 14 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the field and grabbed nine rebounds.
“Me and Josiah both play in the post so I know where he’s going to be,” said Blodgett. “If I come out toward the 3-point line and then drive, I know he’s going to be down there.”
Stewart added seven points and eight rebounds as the Rams outrebounded Lewiston 40-20.
“Our whole focus is to get the ball on the inside where we’re strong,” said Reed, “because we feel it will give us a good percentage shot and also get us to the foul line.”
Lewiston, which nearly upset Bangor during their earlier meeting on Dec. 28 before dropping a 33-29 decision, hung around for much of the rematch thanks largely to 18 turnovers by the Rams.
Blodgett scored 11 points and senior guard Tristan Thomas added all eight of his points during the first two quarters as Bangor built a 27-15 halftime lead.
The Rams then held 5-8 Lewiston without a point for the first 5:31 of the third quarter while extending their advantage to 33-15, but Lewiston mounted a modest rally, with Steven Patrie scoring twice, Joe McKinnon hitting a 3-pointer and Jeff Turcotte adding a follow-up basket to help the Blue Devils close to within 36-27 by the end of the period.
Bangor finally broke the game open by refocusing on its inside game, an effort that enabled the Rams to make its first nine field-goal attempts of the fourth quarter. The surge included three inside baskets by Hartley, three more baskets by Blodgett, a 3-pointer and a layup by Stewart and a steal and a layup by point guard Luke Hetterman as the Rams outscored Lewiston 21-5 to take a 57-32 lead into the game’s final three minutes.
“At the beginning of the year, coach Reed was telling us how the high-low was going to be our go-to offense this year,” said Hartley, “and with Blodgett being such a big threat with his ability to shoot or take it off the dribble it just opened things up a lot.”
Patrie led Lewiston with 10 points and six rebounds.