BANGOR, Maine — Two of the most successful basketball programs in the state over the past half century met with a Class D North title on the line Saturday morning at the Cross Insurance Center.
Jonesport-Beals, which had won 10 state titles since becoming a school 50 years ago, squared off against Schenck of East Millinocket, which had earned four gold balls in the same span, doing so while competing in three different classes over the years.
In the end, for this season anyway, the Wolverines’ proved to have too many weapons and captured their first regional championship since 2010 with the 70-47 victory.
“We came out an emphasized execution, like we have since this tournament started,” said Schenck junior forward Colby Hannan, who energized his team by scoring nine points in the first 4:45. “We all came together and played for one another.”
In the March 2 state finals, also to be played in Bangor, Schenck will take on the winner of the South final between Forest Hills and Temple Academy.
“We got here and did our business and I can’t wait to do it next weekend,” said Schenck sophomore guard Isaac Adams, who logged 15 points.
The Wolverines’ balance was evident as four starters reached double figures in scoring. Senior Travis Thompson netted 21 points (20 coming in the second half) to lead the charge. His layup with 28 seconds put him at the 1,000-point mark for his career.
Tyrone Davis joined Adams in contributing 15 points and Hannan added 12 for coach Darrick Thompson’s team, whose record improved to 14-7.
Schenck, the No. 4 seed in the division, set the tone early by tallying the game’s first eight points.
“It kind of takes the pressure off your shoulders when you get off to a nice start like that,” Hannan said. “It gets you settled in and makes everything easier.”
The Wolverines put together a 25-point first quarter, capped by a desperation 35-footer by Adams at the buzzer which electrified the crowd.
“Jonesport-Beals had a great defense but there were a couple times that they just left me open so I had to shoot it,” Adams said. “At the end of the quarter, that was a prayer. I just kind of flung it up there.”
Schenck led by as many as 17 points before Jonesport-Beals went on an 8-2 run to end the half, bringing the margin back down to 11 (38-27).
Fouls were prevalent in the first half, with Jonesport-Beals committing 11 and Schenck 10. That led to many free throws being taken by both teams, especially in the second quarter when both reached the bonus. The Royals were 3-9 and Schenck 7-13 from the foul line in the second quarter.
Defensively, Schenck locked down Jonesport-Beals with a mix of 1-3-1 and 2-3 halfcourt zones, with a heavy concentration on slowing down the Royals’ Kaiden Crowley, who had to work hard for his 13 points and netted only two after halftime.
Second-ranked Jonesport-Beals had two key starters sit for significant minutes in the first half due to foul trouble as Ryan Alley and Adam Robinson picked up three each.
For 17-3 Jonesport-Beals, Alvin Beal was the high scorer with 15 points and Alley put in 11.