BANGOR — Washburn sophomore Mitch Worcester pieced together a shooting display that will long live in Eastern Maine schoolboy basketball tournament lore.
While Worcester broke the EM Class D individual record for 3-pointers in a game with eight and his Beavers shattered the team mark with 20, Jonesport-Beals countered that with size and height to post an 84-72 semifinal victory at the Bangor Auditorium Thursday night.
Coach Vincent MacLean’s second-ranked Royals (18-1) will play the winner of Thursday’s late contest between Central Aroostook and Machias.
No. 3 Washburn finishes the season 17-3.
Worcester, who poured in a game-high 30 points, came out firing against the Royals’ diamond-and-one defense, as he hit four perimeter bombs in the first five minutes to give his Beavers an early 18-8 lead.
“I haven’t seen a shooting display like that, ever,” said MacLean.
But Jonesport-Beals eventually adjusted, ending the first quarter on a 9-1 run to close within two.
After the teams went back-and-forth for most of the second, the Royals finally took advantage of their height, with 6-foot-6 center Justin Alley scoring eight points to ignite a 12-0 J-B run, capped by an Alley follow-up basket.
The Royals continued their inside assault in the third quarter, as Alley scored his team’s first six points coming out of halftime while Zach Smith had 10 points to pace a 23-5 burst which gave J-B a 20-point cushion.
MacLean adjusted his defense at halftime, and it worked to some degree.
“I think the defense we played really helped out because we were getting out on their shooters,” said Royals’ sophomore forward Garet Beal, who led Jonesport-Beals with 28 points.
Matt Alley finished with 15, Justin Alley 18 and Smith 14 for JB.
Coach Randy Norsworthy’s Beavers refused to quit, scoring the final nine points of the third quarter, including a halfcourt buzzer-beater by Worcester which broke the team mark for 3-pointers in one contest.
The 2004 Calvary Chapel of Orrington club held the standard with 13, while former Calvary standout Josh Madden held the individual benchmark with seven.
Washburn got as close as five on two occasions in the fourth, but the Royals’ size — Smith stands 6-5, Alley 6-6 and Beal 6-5 — wore the Beavers down.
“We knew we’d have to shoot the ball well,” Norsworthy said. “We shot the ball really good but we needed everything we had and I guess we could’ve used a little bit more.”
Jonesport-Beals used a 1-2-2 three-quarter court trap to extend on the Beavers’ shooters, and while Washburn continued to hit from the outside, the Beavers struggled to take care of the ball.
“They started extending their shots even more to 25-27 feet, I mean how do you defend that?” said MacLean.
The Royals were dynamite offensively, shooting a robust 33-of-57 (57 percent) from the field.
“I think we hit a lot of our shots, I think that helped,” said Beal. “We got a lot of looks and I think we just distributed (the ball) really well.”
Matt Alley dished out three assists and had three steals for the Royals while Beal also had three steals. Alley gathered nine rebounds.
Washburn also tied the 2004 Calvary Chapel squad’s record for most field goals in a regional Class D tourney with 30.
The Beavers shot 20-39 as a unit from beyond the arc, with Worcester pouring in 30 points, Mason Turner 19 and Jordan McLaughlin 17.
Turner was 6-of-9 from downtown and McLaughlin 5-of-7.