FORT KENT, Maine — The No. 3 Fort Kent boys basketball team punched its ticket to the Cross Insurance Center Wednesday evening with a 70-40 victory over No. 14 Madawaska in a Class C North prelim.
The Warriors (16-3 overall) advance to the quarterfinals, 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, where they will take on the winner of No. 6 Mattanawcook versus No. 11 Lee Academy.
Fort Kent started the game on a hot streak, scoring the first eight points of the game in the first three minutes of action. That hole proved too deep for Madawaska to climb out of as the Warriors continued their momentum throughout the game.
Fort Kent’s Jace Rocheleau scored a game high 22 points, including two baskets from behind the 3-point arc. Eden Paradis added 19 points, including a 3-pointer, followed by Austin Delisle who pitched in another eight for Fort Kent. Senior Apurba Kaphle also nailed a 3-pointer, which is believed to be his first career varsity points.
Michael Hebert managed a respectable 11 points for the Owls, with three 3-pointers. Carsen Cyr and Ian Beaulieu each chipped in seven points. Both Cyr and Beaulieu scored a 3-pointer of their own.
The Owls did outscore Fort Kent in the fourth quarter, 14-8, but it proved to be too little too late for a comeback.
“We’re excited to go to Bangor,” Fort Kent coach Chad Cyr. “Obviously that’s always the goal at the beginning of the season. We see this as taking one stepping stone at a time. We just conquered our first.”
Cyr, who is in his first year coaching the Warriors, attributed the team’s success to the players and to assistant coach Larry Murphy, a UMFK Hall of Famer.
“This is a great group of kids,” Cyr said. “They have heart and want to win and will do whatever it takes. Having ‘Coach Murph’ by my side is also quite an advantage as a first year coach.”
Cyr also praised the Owls as hard competitors.
“They [Madwaska] made a lot of improvements over the year and were very well coached,” he said.
Madawaska ends its season with a 10-9 record.