Blue HIll—Their winning streak might be broken but the George Stevens Academy varsity boys basketball team sits firm at the top of the Class C Northern rankings, with one game left in the regular season.
Ellsworth broke GSA’s unbeaten record in a February 2 thriller before a packed Ellsworth house that saw the two teams battle for dominance.
“It was a great game and a packed house with a tournament atmosphere,” Coach Dwayne Carter said.
The Class B Ellsworth team edged out a 60-58 win, after trailing 18-14 at the end of the first quarter and 26-23 at halftime. In a fourth quarter game changer, Ellsworth pulled to a 10 point lead as Eagle Max Mattson—who’s up for McDonald’s Player of the Week—fouled out with five minutes left. GSA scrambled to close the gap to two points before the final buzzer.
“We needed a game like [this] to help ready us for the tournament,” Carter said. “The true benefit was playing the game against a very good team in a packed house with an intense atmosphere. Losing the game will fire us up to focus on each game and do what we need to win.”
Jarrod Chase led GSA with 14 points, while Beckett Slayton and Taylor Schildroth each scored 11, Stefan Simmons nine and Mattson eight.
The loss broke a 16-game winning streak—which included a four-point victory over Ellsworth earlier in the season—that was capped by a 62-47 win over Penquis on January 30 and Lee Academy (62-51) on January 27.
The game against Lee, ranked #4, with losses only to GSA and Bucksport, had been an open question going in. But after lagging by one point at 12-11 to end the first quarter, the Eagles hit their stride, powered by Mattson’s defensive blocks and strong team shooting from the three-point line. Leading 33-23 to open the second half, GSA extended the gap going into the fourth quarter and never looked back.
Schildroth led with 19 points, including four three-pointers, plus 10 assists, Chase scored 16, with two three-pointers and Mattson had eight points, eight blocks and 13 rebounds. Slayton hit two three-pointers in his total eight points. The team will play the PVC championship game against the #2 team, Bucksport or Fort Fairfield, in Howland, on February 8 at 6:30 p.m.