BANGOR, Maine — The No. 8 Easton High School boys basketball team completed the biggest upset of the tournament, taking down top-ranked Jonesport-Beals 55-53, despite Garet Beal’s 38 points for the defending state champs in an Eastern Maine Class D quarterfinal at the Bangor Auditorium Monday night.
With the win, Easton will face fifth-ranked Hodgdon, which defeated No. 4 Deer Isle-Stonington 46-42 earlier Monday night, in a Thursday semifinal.
Easton improved to 15-5 while Jonesport-Beals finished at 18-1.
“We put in a game plan, but I just give them the tools, they were the ones that executed,” said Easton coach Dillon Kingsbury. “I couldn’t ask for a better group, they played hard, they played with heart — everything a coach would want a team to play with.”
Easton tried to control the tempo in the first half against Jonesport-Beals, resulting in a low-scoring, 7-6 first quarter that saw the Royals with the lead.
Easton started to heat up from the floor in the second quarter, led by freshman guard Logan Halverson and his two 3-pointers. Halverson finished 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, each shot seemingly stifled a Jonesport-Beals run.
“I was a little nervous before the game,” Halverson said. “We needed to play really good defense to stop those runs.”
Easton went into the break with a 23-17 lead.
The teams were even in the third quarter, as Beal scored nine points in the quarter, but was matched by junior center Hunter Turner, who scored 11 points in the quarter and finished with 22 points.
The University of Maine-bound Beal tried to take over in the fourth quarter, scoring 19 of his 38 in the final stanza, but it wasn’t enough to match the Bears, as they hit the majority of their free throws down the stretch to score the upset.
“I think the kids overlooked them, I really do,” said Jonesport-Beals coach Gordon Faulkingham. “You can’t overlook anybody and we showed up too late. They ran the tempo, controlled the game. [Easton] played the best game I’d seen them play this year.”
The Bears shot 16-of-31 from the floor for the game, while the Royals shot just 17—of-45 for the game.
In the earlier game, the Hawks held off the Mariners for the victory.
Deer Isle-Stonington jumped out to a 5-0 lead early in the first quarter after back-to-back buckets by senior guard Sam Grindle. Grindle finished the first half with 11 points, including three 3-pointers.
After a slim first-quarter lead, Hodgdon went on a 6-0 run to take a 15-10 lead midway through the second quarter, but three-straight 3-pointers by the Mariners helped them take a 23-19 lead into halftime. Sophomore forward Chris Hudson led the Hawks with 11 first-half points.
Hodgdon kept the game close, tying it on multiple occasions before taking the lead in the fourth quarter, 42-40.
The game remained tied entering the final minute of play until Hodgdon’s Devin Logie laid the ball in with 28 seconds left. A drive toward the hoop by Grindle bounced off the rim and Hayden Ciomei’s put-back attempt rimmed out as well.
Hodgdon improved to 16-4 while the Mariners ended their season at 14-6.