The Bangor boys basketball team defeated Brewer earlier this season by holding the Witches without a 3-point goal.
The Rams completed the regular-season sweep Friday night thanks to the 3-pointers they made — 10 in all —in a 63-53 overtime victory at the Brewer High School gymnasium.
With the win Bangor earned the No. 1 seed for the four-team for the Big East Classes AA/A playoffs that begin next week. Bangor hosts No. 4 Hampden Academy while No. 2 Brewer hosts No. 3 Nokomis of Newport in Thursday’s semifinals. Both games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
Bangor (9-1) made 10 of its 18 3-point tries in the regular-season finale, including four by guard Joey Morrison that helped coach Brad Libby’s Rams rally from a five-point, fourth-quarter deficit and then outscore Brewer 14-4 in the extra period.
The biggest trifecta of all came amid some unusual circumstances during the final half-minute of regulation.
Bangor had called its final timeout with 23.9 seconds left and Brewer clinging to a 49-46 lead after two free throws by guard Aaron Newcomb.
As the Rams broke their huddle, an official noticed that senior guard Andrew Szwez, a semifinalist for the Mr. Maine Basketball award, had blood on his game shorts. He had to leave the game.
As Szwez and a teammate went out into the lobby to exchange shorts — with no fans the lobby is empty during the game — Bangor inbounded the ball. The Rams worked it around until 6-foot-6 freshman Landon Clark buried a game-tying, 27-foot 3-pointer from well beyond the top of the key with 14 seconds left.
Brewer (10-2) had a couple of late chances but was unable to convert, and the rivalry game was extended.
“I’d like to say that’s exactly how I drew it up,” Libby said of the play. “I was a little confused because I wasn’t sure where we could go to change since we couldn’t use locker rooms. That was another step of the issue, that we didn’t know where to go.
“He’s a kid we want shooting it every time, him and Szwez, and with Szwez out of the game, the ball’s going to go in his hands and he stepped up big time for us.”
Bangor fed off the momentum produced by Clark’s shot, which served as the start of a game-deciding 10-0 run that included the first seven points of overtime.
Morrison opened the extra period with his fourth 3-pointer in five attempts to give Bangor the lead for good at 52-49. From there, Bangor did its work on defense and at the free-throw line, where the Rams made 11 of their last 13 free throws, including three by Szwez and two apiece from Morrison, Landon Clark, Max Clark and Cabryn Streams.
Szwez finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds while Morrison also scored 16, including back-to-back 3-pointers — one from deep in the right corner and the second from beyond the key — to close the Rams from a 45-40 deficit to within 47-46 with a minute left.
Landon Clark added 12 points and five rebounds while older brother Max Clark finished with 11 points and five boards.
Junior guard Colby Smith paced Brewer with 16 points, five rebounds, four steals and four assists. Newcomb and Brady Saunders scored 10 points each and Dylan Huff, the Witches’ Mr. Basketball semifinalist, chipped in seven points and six rebounds.
Bangor shook off 12 first-half turnovers to outscore Brewer 12-5 during the second quarter and take a 29-22 intermission lead behind 10 points and six rebounds from Szwez and three 3-pointers from Max Clark.
Brewer used its second 8-0 run of the contest to take a 41-38 lead after consecutive baskets by Kyle Goodrich, Ryder Goodwin and Saunders to open the fourth quarter.
A Saunders tip-in and a steal and layup by Smith helped Brewer extend its lead to five with less than 3 minutes left before Morrison found his range from long range and Bangor’s final comeback was in motion.
“We talk about toughness every day in practice,” Libby said. “We talk about heart and energy and they left it on the court for 36 minutes tonight. If we can take a step after this game and play like this against every opponent it’s going to be tough to beat the Bangor Rams.”