OLD TOWN, Maine — Tyler Brooks of Presque Isle and Old Town’s Garrett Libby did a good job of neutralizing each other in a head-to-head matchup during Saturday night’s Class B basketball game at MacKenzie Gym.
When Libby fouled out early in overtime, it was Brooks who seized the moment.
The senior forward scored six of his game-high 15 points in overtime, lifting Presque Isle to a 59-50 boys basketball victory over Old Town.
Coach Terry Cummings’ Wildcats (2-1) demonstrated excellent offensive balance while capitalizing on their advantage in frontcourt height. Brooks also led all rebounders with eight and added three assists and a steal.
Senior Corey Willette contributed 11 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots and Brad Shields posted seven points, seven rebounds and three blocks .
Brooks’ man-to-man defense helped limit reigning Big East Player of the Year Libby to 14 points before he fouled out 26 seconds into overtime.
“Tyler Brooks had to sacrifice a little offense tonight and he did a whale of a job on Garrett Libby. He gave him one open shot all night,” Cummings said.
The Wildcats capitalized on the senior guard’s absence, outscoring Old Town (2-1) 15-6 the rest of the way.
“Getting Garrett Libby out of there is huge, because he’s one of the best players in the state of Maine,” Cummings said.
PI also received solid contributions from its backcourt as Jonah Stephenson provided 11 points, five rebounds and Cody Lyford tossed in 10 points.
“Our guards out front, Jake Williams, Jonah Stephenson, Cody Lyford, they all did a great job. I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Cummings added.
The visitors emerged with a 17-6 edge at the free-throw line.
Libby also posted seven rebounds and two steals for coach Brian McDormand’s Coyotes. They received 13 points and seven rebounds from Adam Richardson and 13 points, five rebounds and three assists from Garvey Melmed.
Old Town, which achieved some results (19 PI turnovers) with its full-court man-to-man and half-court pressure, forced overtime when Richardson rebounded the miss of a Libby shot and scored with 15 seconds left to tie the game 42-42.
The Wildcats had the final possession, but didn’t connect.
“We wanted to give ourselves a shot, with a last-second shot, to win it, and then we really stepped it up in the overtime,” Cummngs said.
Brooks opened OT with a baseline move for the Wildcats, then Shields drew a player-control foul against Libby that spelled his exit with 3:34 to play in the game.
Brooks made two free throws to give PI a four-point lead, but Brandon Emerson’s 17-foot jumper kept the Coyotes close. Lyford followed by hitting his second 3-pointer of the game off a kickout pass from Brooks, giving the Wildcats a 49-44 advantage with 2:24 left.
Old Town’s Melmed answered with a 3-pointer, but Brooks and Shields sandwiched close-range hoops around two missed free throws to help PI grab the upper hand for good.