LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — The Maine Athletic Club 17-and-under boys basketball team jumped out to a big early lead and defeated the Queen City Prophets of Cincinnati, Ohio, 61-49, on Monday afternoon to cap off one of the best finishes by a Pine Tree State team at the AAU Division I 11th-Grade National Championships.
Coach Carl Parker’s club won the championship game of the Round 1 consolation bracket and with the victory over Ohio placed 11th overall in the 99-team field.
MAC finished 6-2 at the national tournament and 10-3 overall during tournament play in Kentucky.
MAC jumped out to a 21-8 lead against Ohio en route to its fourth consecutive double-digit victory in the single-elimination consolation competition. The lead was narrowed to 42-36 by the end of the third quarter before the Maine team regained control.
Nick Mayo, a 6-foot-7-inch forward who will be a senior at Messalonskee High School of Oakland in the fall, led a balanced MAC attack with 19 points and nine rebounds. Point guard Dayne Savage of Caribou added 12 points and eight rebounds while Justin Martin of Winslow had 17 points and seven boards.
Chris Hudson of Hodgdon contributed 10 points and eight rebounds to the victory while Kyle Bouchard of Houlton finished with nine points, six rebounds and a team-high five assists.
Other members of the team are Nason Lanphier of Winslow, Matt Murray of Cony of Augusta, Ben Malloy of Bonny Eagle of Standish and Jack Simonds of Falmouth.
Three straight victories over the weekend lifted MAC into that 11th-place game.
First it scored a 69-54 decision over the Southeast Tennessee Tigers as Mayo had 32 points and 17 rebounds and Bouchard scored 10 points.
Then MAC handled the Arkansas Elite Athletes 59-43 as Mayo had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Hudson scored 14 points and Martin added 11.
MAC knocked off Iowa-Martin Brothers 71-57 in Monday morning’s divisional semifinal. Martin led the way offensively with 24 points, while Mayo had 23 points and 13 rebounds and Bouchard had eight points and eight rebounds.
Savage added eight points and seven assists, while Winslow’s Nason Lanphier had six points and three rebounds and Hudson grabbed seven rebounds.
This year’s MAC squad joined the 2007 MBR 17-and-under team coached by Parker in securing an 11th-place finish at the 11th-grade nationals. That team included recent Notre Dame product Tom Knight of Dixfield as well as former Eastern Maine high school standouts Derek Libbey of Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln, Lee Suvly of Bangor, Brandon Tomah of Calais and Casey Reynolds of Newport.
An MBNation team that featured former Nokomis of Newport star Chris Braley, now at Stony Brook University, won the AAU 12th-Grade National Championship in 2011.