July 23, 2019
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Skowhegan boys outlast Brewer for spot in A North championship

Josh O'Donnell | BDN
Josh O'Donnell | BDN
Marcus Christopher of Skowhegan and Max Perkins (10) of Brewer play in the Class A boys' basketball semifinals Wednesday at the Augusta Civic Center.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Junior guard Carter Hunt scored 17 points and senior forward Marcus Christopher added 16 points and 10 rebounds as No. 7 Skowhegan outlasted No. 6 Brewer 58-46 in a Class A North semifinal Wednesday night at the Augusta Civic Center.

Skowhegan (10-10) will face No. 4 Lawrence of Fairfield (12-8), a 63-56 winner over top-ranked Cony of Augusta on Wednesday, at 8:45 p.m. Friday for the regional championship.

[Check out the latest A North boys tourney bracket standings here]

Brewer, which had won five of its last six games going into the semifinal, ends its season with a 10-10 record.

Junior forward Trevor Pearson led Brewer with 15 points and sophomore forward Dylan Huff added 14, but the Witches made just 32 percent (16 of 49) shots from the field and 25 percent (4 of 16) from beyond the arc.

“I thought we did a good job defensively,” said Brewer coach Ben Goodwin. “Some shots we normally make just didn’t fall tonight. It was just one of those games, but we kept grinding and I’m proud of the kids for not giving up.”

While Brewer was cold, Hunt was blazing hot, capitalizing on the Witches’ defensive attention against Christopher — who had scored 28 points in Skowhegan’s quarterfinal win over Hampden Academy.

Hunt, who scored six points on two 3-pointers in the quarterfinals, shot 6 of 9 overall, 5 of 8 from beyond the arc, against Brewer.

“They did a very good job using the space (Christopher) created for his teammates, and he hit a bunch of shots early and that opened everything up,” said Goodwin. “That makes it tough when you’re trying to key on one player and they have someone else knocking shots down.

“They did a good job of executing what they wanted to do.”

Brewer tried everything it could defensively against Christopher, using four different defenders against him in man-to-man sets during the first half alone and also trying full-court pressure as well as a 1-3-1 half-court zone.

Josh O'Donnell | BDN
Josh O'Donnell | BDN
Jimmy Reed (23) of Skowhegan tries to guard Brewer's Dylan Huff (24) as he moves down court in the Class A North boys semifinals at the Augusta Civic Center on Wednesday.

But the Skowhegan big-man-turned-point guard still scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Indians built a 34-26 lead at intermission.

The Indians also got a big early contribution from Hunt, who hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points during a first quarter that ended with Skowhegan holding a 21-18 lead.

Brewer had some early success inside with Pearson, who made 5 of 6 shots for a 10-point first half. But the Witches had less success from beyond the arc, making just 2 of 8 tries during the opening 16 minutes.

Josh O'Donnell | BDN
Josh O'Donnell | BDN
Marcus Christopher of Skowhegan drives through Brewer players Colby Smith (44) and Trevor Pearson (12) in Wednesday's Boys Class A North semifinals match at the Augusta Civic Center.

Brewer limited Christopher to just two free throws in the second half, but Hunt hit two more 3-pointers and Skowhegan made 10 fourth-quarter free throws to hold the Witches at bay.

The Witches did get within 36-34 midway through the third quarter but Skowhegan then scored eight unanswered points — including Hunt’s two 3-pointers — to create a lead Brewer couldn’t overcome.

Josh O'Donnell | BDN
Josh O'Donnell | BDN
Colby Smith (44) of Brewer looks for an opening past Skowhegan's Marcus Hampton (2) in Wednesday's Class A North boys semifinal match at the Augusta Civic Center.
Josh O'Donnell | BDN
Josh O'Donnell | BDN
Brewer's Kyle Goodrich (34) takes a shot against Skowhegan's Kyle Kruse (20) in Wednesday's Class A North boys semifinal match at the Augusta Civic Center.
Josh O'Donnell | BDN
Josh O'Donnell | BDN
Colby Smith (44) of Brewer maneuvers around Jimmy Reed (23) and Carter Hunt (10) of Skowhegan in Wednesday's Class A North boys basketball semifinal game at the Augusta Civic Center.
Correction: Two photo captions on an earlier version of this report misidentified Skowhegan’s Marcus Christopher.


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