BANGOR, Maine — A sixth- or a seventh-seed will play in the Eastern Maine Class C schoolboy championship game.
That’s because sixth seed Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln upset No. 3 Calais 62-51 in Tuesday morning’s opener at the Bangor Auditorium to earn a berth in the semifinals against seventh seed Houlton, which ousted second seed Sumner of East Sullivan 69-52 in the next game.
Mattanawcook Academy, 15-5, and 10-10 Houlton, which split regular season games, will square off in Friday’s 2:05 p.m. semifinal.
In the opener, senior guard Chase Vicaire picked a perfect time for the second 30-point game of his career as he poured in 31 including four consecutive free throws in the final 1:10 as Mattanawcook Academy scored the game’s final eight points, all from the foul line.
Vicaire also had six rebounds and four steals.
“I got into a good flow. It felt good,” said Vicaire who considered rebounding and foul shooting the keys to the win.
“Coach (Ryan Libby) preached rebounding and foul shooting all week,” said Vicaire. “We didn’t play our best in the first half but we played harder on defense and did a better job offensively in the second half.”
“We rebounded a lot better as a team in the second half. I’ve preached fourth-quarter foul shooting all year and I think we only missed one in the fourth quarter,” Libby added.
After being outrebounded 23-14 in the first half, the Lynx held their own against the taller Blue Devils in the second half, being outrebounded just 15-13. And they were 11-for-12 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
Matt Voisine, Nick L’Italien and Tim Cummings all had nine points for the winners. Cummings and L’Italien had five rebounds apiece and Voisine had four steals and three assists. Trysten Pelkey hauled down six rebounds and Cummings and Matthew Guiod dished out three assists each.
Joseph Mitchell’s 21 points, seven rebounds and two steals led 14-3 Calais. Devin Hall scored 16 points, Roger Socobasin contributed six points, seven rebounds and two steals and Tyler Niles came off the bench and produced a game-high nine rebounds. He also had two steals.
In the second game, sophomore guard Nicholas Guiod paced a balanced attack with 18 points and freshman forward Kyle Bouchard had 16 to lead Houlton past Sumner.
Kole Buzzeo came off the bench to score 10 points and Elyjah Crockett also had 10.
Trailing 8-4 midway through the first quarter, Houlton used a 26-8 run to build a 33-21 half-time lead.
The Shires led by at least nine the rest of the way.
Sophomore guard Buzzeo had eight of his points in the second quarter including a pair of 3-pointers.
“I basically go in just for my shooting,” said Buzzeo. “I was able to step up today and and make a couple of big shots for the team.”
“He did his job which is to knock down shots. That was a real key. It helped us get the lead and we never looked back,” said Guiod who, in addition to his 18 points, turned in an exceptional performance as the point guard, rarely turning the ball over against Sumner’s pressure defense.
Standout Sumner guard Gabe O’Brien tried valiantly to rally the Tigers but a 6-0 Houlton run midway through the fourth quarter, featuring four points by Bouchard, expanded the lead to 57-42 and sewed up the win.
O’Brien led all scorers with 22 points and he also had a game-high five assists.
“We underestimated them,” said O’Brien. “We didn’t expect them to hit the outside shots so we double-downed on Bouchard inside. But they hit the outside shots. Our (defensive) pressure wasn’t as aggressive or tenacious as it was a year ago.”
“We ran into a real good team. Even I underestimated them,” said Sumner coach Walter Crabtree. “They were on fire in the second quarter (7-for-13).”
“In the first half, our half-court offense was the best it’s been all year,” said Houlton coach Robert Moran. “(Sumner) caught us on a day when we shot the ball well (24-for-47). We were lucky to win. They’re a great team. O’Brien is a great player. So is (Tylor) Martin.”
Bouchard grabbed eight rebounds and also doled out four assists in an impressive all-around performance.
Crockett had five rebounds and Guiod and Doug Dickison each hauled in four.
Martin had 16 points and four rebounds for 16-3 Sumner. Xavier Tracey had six points and four rebounds and Justin Chipman had nine rebounds and three blocked shots, both game highs, to go with his four points.