BUCKSPORT, Maine — Gage Feeney and Austin Seavey present matchup problems for most Eastern Maine Class C boys basketball teams.
Both are 6-foot-5-inch juniors from Washington Academy of East Machias, with Feeney able to play virtually any position on the court while Seavey is a natural center who gradually is extending his game toward the perimeter.
It was a duo Bucksport had no answer for at Jewett Gymnasium on Friday night, as Feeney and Seavey combined for 36 points and 17 rebounds while playing just three quarters apiece as Washington Academy rolled to a 72-33 victory.
It was the second lopsided win of the season by the Raiders over Bucksport, following a 57-30 WA win on Dec. 19.
“Our size kills them, and the Feeney-Seavey duo is tough for a lot of teams to defend,” said Washington Academy coach Steve Pineo. “They’re big, they’re smart, they can both shoot. They’re tough, tough players.”
Feeney finished the night with 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Seavey totaled 15 points and nine rebounds as the Raiders — who trail only undefeated Houlton in the Eastern C Heal point ratings — scored the game’s first 11 points and never looked back while improving their record to 8-2.
“Ball movement and getting the ball inside were the key,” said Feeney, whose team will play its third game in as many nights Saturday at Class B power Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor, followed by another important road test Monday at Class C rival Calais.
“I knew the person guarding me was smaller and maybe not as quick so I wanted to take advantage of that and get to the rack as quick as possible. I did that, and that helped set up my jump shot.”
Junior guard Kyle Taylor added nine points, senior forward Dustin Emery had eight points and eight rebounds, junior forward Patrick Massad scored eight points and senior guard Fred McLean contributed six points and eight rebounds for a WA team that outrebounded Bucksport 50-29, including 28-12 during the first half while the Raiders built a 38-16 cushion.
“Tonight we came out a little more intense than the first time we played them, and overall I think we played better,” said Seavey.
The taller Raiders also limited a Bucksport team that entered the game ranked sixth in Eastern C with a 6-2 record to just 26 percent (15 of 57) shooting from the field. Senior guard Josh Gray led the Golden Bucks with nine points.
“I think our defense is the most improved part of our game right now,” said Pineo. “I thought we played great defense tonight. We’ve got a ways to go but it’s getting better and better. We’re starting to commit to playing defense, which we haven’t done in the past.”
The victory helped Washington Academy — which dropped to Class C by enrollment this season after spending the last two years in Class B — continue to establish its presence among the top four in the division along with Houlton, Calais and Lee Academy.
The chemistry between Feeney and Seavey has much to do with that status — and their team’s potential for a deep run come tournament time.
“We almost read each other’s mind,” said Feeney. “Screen and rolls are great, give and goes are great. If he gets it going in the post and we get the ball inside to him and teams have to start rotating defenders down and he kicks out to me, it’s hard to defend.”