Blue Hill—Coming off three straight wins to open their season, the Eagles rolled over Bucksport after amping up their shot-making and defense to push a one-point lead going into the second half to a final score of 62-41.
At the end of a first quarter that saw the Eagles shoot around but not into the basket, Bucksport held a 10-9 lead, despite a three-pointer from Beckett Slayton and a Taylor Schildroth layup in the last minute of play.
“Keep going to the rim,” Coach Dwayne Carter shouted, and in the second quarter, the Eagles turned up the heat with a nine-point run with less than two minutes left on the clock. They opened the third quarter 21-15, and by the end, the point gap was over 20 points.
The Golden Bucks posed the first real test for the now 4-0 Eagles this season, despite the lopsided final score.
“Bucksport will play tough and physical,” Carter wrote in a pre-game email. “We will have an overall size advantage and will try and exploit that. The goal tonight is to play consistent throughout the game.”
With senior Nick Szwez back on the court after missing the first two games with a wrist injury, and senior Jarrod Chase returning after spraining an ankle in a pre-season game, the team now has found its depth, Carter said.
“It is early in the season and we are still adjusting to new personnel and figuring things out,” he added.
Junior Khemani Peasley is one new face, and he created some defensive havoc when brought onto the floor at Bucksport. Also new to the varsity lineup are junior Beckett Slayton and sophomore Stefan Simmons, both solid off the bench.
“We have very committed teammates who are putting in a lot of time and are very focused,” Carter said.
Schildroth and Szwez led the Eagles with 13 and 12 points, respectively; Chase and Mattson each chipped in eight, Khemani scored six, Slayton five, Simmons four and senior Will Entwisle went six for six in foul shots.
The win follows a decisive victory over Calais on December 12 that saw the Eagles up 17 points up at the end of the first quarter. They finished 51-35 behind a solid defense and 25 points by Schildroth—which included five 3-pointers to earn the win.
The Eagles look good to go deep this season, especially with the redivisioning of Class C teams, which moved up competitors such as Orono into Class B.
They face a tough, undefeated team this Saturday, December 19, when they travel two hours north for a matchup with Lee Academy. Tip off is 2:30 p.m.