It was raining 3-pointers at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday afternoon as the Forest Hills Tigers from Jackman set a Class D state-final record with 11 threes and captured their second straight Class D boys basketball state title and fourth in eight years with a 69-53 victory over the youthful Machias Bulldogs.
Forest Hills, which went 11-for-29 behind the 3-point arc (37.9 percent), finished off a 22-0 season and extended its winning streak to 44 games over the past two seasons.
“We’re better hitting threes than twos sometimes, believe it or not,” Forest Hills coach Anthony Amero said.
Machias, which starts three sophomores and two freshmen, wound up 12-9.
Forest Hills junior guard Parker Desjardins, selected as the Class D South tourney’s most outstanding player, scored a game-high 31 points including his team’s first 16 points in the fourth quarter. He finished with 18 in the final period.
He also grabbed 10 rebounds in the game.
Desjardins’ freshman brother, Mason Desjardins, netted 18 points and dished out five assists to go with four rebounds. Senior forward Hunter Cuddy scored 16 points and tied a Class D record with five 3-pointers. He also had three rebounds.
Joey Poulin grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for Forest Hills.
Sophomore Kashman Feeney’s 16 points and seven rebounds, and freshman cousin Shane Feeney’s 12 points and six rebounds sparked the Bulldogs. Sophomore point guard Jayden Rhodes delivered eight points, eight rebounds, four steals and four assists and sophomore forward Kyle Anderson chipped in with eight points, five rebounds and three blocked shots.
Freshman Ethan Foss had seven points for Machias.
“Augusta is like home to us so shooting here always feels good,” said Cuddy, who hit three 3-pointers in the first half as Forest Hills built a 32-17 lead before the gritty Bulldogs scored the final seven points of the half, four by Shane Feeney, to pull within eight.
The Class D South Tournament is held at the Augusta Civic Center.
Mason Desjardins has 14 first-half points with Cuddy and Parker Desjardins adding nine each.
Forest Hills went 6-for-12 beyond the 3-point arc in the first half.
“We were taking what they were giving us and [our shots] were going in,” Cuddy said. ”Jacking up threes opened up the inside and got drives for us.”
Kashman Feeney scored hit back-to-back baskets to open the second half and pull Machias within four and the Bulldogs trailed by five with three minutes left in the third period before a 10-4 Forest Hills run expanded the lead to 49-38 at quarter’s end.
The fourth quarter belonged to Parker Desjardins, who went 6-for-8 from the floor, including two threes.
“I didn’t do much in the first half so I had to step it up,” Parker Desjardins said. “Mason and Hunter stepped it up in the first half, so it was my time to shine and I took control.
“They had spread out their defense [to cover the 3-point shots] so the drive was open. I had a hard time shooting [outside] so I had to drive,” added Desjardins, who said he spent three days in bed ill this week.
Amero said he put Parker Daigle at the top of their 1-3-1 zone for the first time and he did an excellent job putting pressure up front.
“[Machias] took some long shots which got us into our running game on their misses. When you’re playing in a new place in a state championship game, it’s tough to hit threes,” Amero said.
“We felt we were going to have to rebound the basketball and control the tempo, and we didn’t do either,” said Machias coach James Getchell, whose team was outrebounded 37-29. “We were one-and-done every time [we shot]. They were physical. Hats off to them. They’re a great basketball team.”
“They kind of sped us up in the second quarter, and we got out of what we wanted to do. That was the difference in the game,” Getchell said.
The Tigers also did a good job answering Machias’ runs with runs of their own.
“We always talk about making runs and our conditioning,” Amero said. “We’re conditioned to go the long haul. We’re ready to play five quarters,”
Getchell was proud of his young team, calling them “overachievers,” and he said he hopes to get another crack at Forest Hills.
“[Getchell] did a great job with them. They’re a scary team going forward,” Amero said.