BANGOR, Maine — Top-ranked Woodland used a run of 14 unanswered points early in the second half to surge past upset-minded Schenck of East Millinocket 63-50 in a Class D North boys basketball semifinal at the Cross Insurance Center on Thursday night.
Woodland (17-3) will face No. 2 Jonesport-Beals (16-3) for the regional championship at 10:45 a.m. Saturday. Those teams split two games during the final week of the regular season.
No. 5 Schenck ends its season at 9-11.
Sophomore guard Chris Plissey scored a game-high 21 points for Woodland while backcourt mate Drew Hayward added 19 points and four assists.
Isaac Adams made four 3-pointers to lead Schenck with 12 points. Colby Hannon added 11 points and Riley Dionne and Travis Thompson scored 10 points each.
Woodland held a scant 26-25 halftime lead after Thompson banked home a 60-foot 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, and the residual effect of that long shot seemed to rattle Woodland — at least momentarily.
Schenck came out of intermission and scored the first eight points of the second half as Hannon drove the baseline for a three-point play, Dionne made a jumper from the top of the key and Tyrone Davis followed with a 3-pointer to give the Wolverines a 33-26 lead just 90 seconds into the third period.
Woodland coach Ben Maloney called time out to help his team regroup.
“I wanted to switch our defense up a little and get some pressure,” he said, “and we were struggling against their 1-3-1 (zone defense) so I wanted to add some movement so we could get the ball into the high post and hopefully get some layups.
The change in the Dragons was instant, though it wasn’t layups that initially fueled the comeback.
Plissey made a 3-pointer from the left corner for the Dragons’ first field goal since late in the first half and teammate Gavin Gardner followed with a 3-pointer from the right corner.
Then it was Drew Hayward’s turn to connect from long distance, a deep 3-pointer that gave Woodland a sudden 35-33 lead and forced Schenck to abandon its zone.
A Plissey drive and a three-point play on a fast-break follow-up by Hayward capped off the run, and after Isaac Adams hit a 3-pointer to end a five-minute Schenck scoring drought, Hayward capped off a 10-point quarter with a steal and layup and a fast-break basket off another turnover to give Woodland a 44-36 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Plissey opened the final period with his fourth 3-pointer of the night and then fed Matthew Miller for a layup to extend the Woodland advantage to 49-36.
“We were standing still against their zone,” said Maloney, “but we got some movement and got uncovered and then we hit a couple of threes. Once we got ahead they had to go back to man, which we love because we’re very athletic and are able to get by our defenders and get to the rim for layups.”