Washington Academy's Cecil Gray, middle, is about to get the ball knocked away by Maine Central Institute's Ryan Friend during Friday night's Class B North quarterfinal. Trailing on the play is MCI's Harrison Sites. Credit: Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times

The No. 3 Washington Academy boys held off a strong push by No. 6 Maine Central Institute 56-45 Friday evening in a Class B North quarterfinal at the Cross Insurance Center.

The Raiders of East Machias improve to 14-5 on the season and advance to the semifinals where they will take on winner of No. 2 Ellsworth (15-3) versus No. 7 Winslow (11-7) at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19.

Credit: Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times

Junior Cecil Gray paced Washington Academy with 19 points, while sophomore Andon Wood and junior Hisn-Wei “Jax” Lin both added 13 points. Six of Woods’ points came from behind the 3-point arc.

Washington Academy started the game on a hot streak, scoring the first six points on a traditional 3-point play by Gray and 3-pointer by Wood.

“I am very proud of how we started,” WA coach Dean Preston said. “We have not been here [in Bangor] a lot, but today they had a weird calmness about them, which was nice.”

Washington Academy was eliminated in the semifinals last year by eventual state champ Caribou.

Credit: Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times

“MCI is a very good team,” coach Preston said. “They have a tremendous 2-3 zone, similar to Syracuse, which they extended and that gave us fits for a bit.”

Those fits seem to crop up to start the third quarter as the Huskies went on a 9-0 run to get back into the game after trailing 36-20 at the half.

Senior Owen Williams led the Huskies with 15 points, while senior Dominic Wilson added nine and senior Harrison Sites had six.

Credit: Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times

The Huskies had several other chances down the stretch, particularly from the free throw line, but were unable to convert many of those shots in the fourth quarter. MCI finished the game just 8 of 22 (36 percent) from the free throw line. WA was much better, converting 10 of 14 foul shots (71 percent).

MCI of Pittsfield ends its season with a 12-7 mark.