BREWER, Maine — The Lewiston boys basketball team began its season with high expectations, but some chemistry issues left the Blue Devils a frustrated lot at midseason.
Don’t look now, but coach Tim Farrar’s club has not only regrouped, but is now the hottest team in Eastern Maine Class A save for undefeated Hampden after a 75-58 win over Brewer on Friday night.
“We’re working hard in practice,” said Lewiston senior guard Josh Thomas, who scored 15 points in the first half as the Blue Devils built a 39-33 lead in this free-flowing clash of two of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference’s higher-scoring teams.
“We want to get to Augusta and do something there. We want to win a state championship.”
The win was the sixth straight for the fifth-ranked Blue Devils, now 9-5 on the season. Eighth-ranked Brewer, which had won four of its previous five games, falls to 7-7.
“I’ve had losses where I don’t know what to say and this is a win where I don’t know what to say,” said Lewiston coach Tim Farrar. “We played about as well as we could play, we moved the ball about as well as can move it.
“And the ball didn’t stop, it found the open guy and I’ve only seen one other team play like that this year and that was downriver in Hampden. I’m not saying we’re as good as them, but I think we played a little like they play tonight.”
Indeed, there were times during Lewiston’s second win of the season over Brewer that the Blue Devils looked like a team capable of making a deep tournament run, particularly during the third quarter when Lewiston outscored Brewer 26-11.
The Blue Devils broke the game open suddenly, making five of its first six shots in the period — including a 3-pointer by Mohamed Mohamud and three-point plays on inside baskets by Donne Agossou and Isaiah Harris — to build a 55-39 cushion less than four minutes into the second half.
After Brewer briefly slowed the Blue Devils’ momentum with back-to-back baskets by freshman guard Logan Rogerson and senior forward Ian Burgess, Lewiston went off on a run of 10 unanswered points, with Agossou working himself into the lane for two more baskets the Blue Devils extended the margin to 65-43 before Burgess made a free throw to close out the period.
“We kept playing as a team, we worked the ball around,” said Agossou. “I did what I could. I was getting to the basket or drawing the defenders and kicking it out to my teammates. They were hot so you have to get them the ball.”
Agossou finished the night with a game-high 16 points and eight rebounds for the Blue Devils, while Thomas and sophomore forward Isaiah Harris each scored 15 with Thomas shooting 3 of 5 from beyond the arc for a Lewiston team that made 10 of its 24 3-point attempts overall — 7 of 16 in the first half.
“We work in practice on shooting a lot, and everyone was feeling it,” said Thomas. “We made shots when we were open and we played good defense. It was a great team effort.”
Center Steven Patrie added six points and eight rebounds for Lewiston, which outrebounded Brewer 36-27.
“I thought we defended well, I thought we rebounded very well in the second half and I think we were able to wear them out a little bit,” said Farrar. “They’re a tough team to match up with because you have to account for all their shooters and they’re such an athletic group, but we were able to find a matchup that worked well and keep the pressure on them.”
Burgess led Brewer with 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while Rogerson came off the bench to score 12 points and junior guard Brendan Newcomb added 10 points.