BANGOR – The first-place George Stevens Academy Eagles used a 20-point fourth quarter to win its second Class C North title in as many years, taking a 59-45 victory over the second-seeded Fort Fairfield Tigers February 25 at the Cross Insurance Center.
The game was tied 39-39 at the end of the third, and head coach Dwayne Carter said he told his team it was time to dig in.
“I told them that we just had to go for it,” said Carter. “We had to get the ball inside, and we did, and scored two points off of it.”
The real victory, though, was the team’s defensive performance.
“This was definitely our best game defensively,” said Carter. “It just kept building and building and getting better each quarter. Max [Mattson] was huge inside, and we just all dug down as a team.”
Mattson recorded a double-double with 16 rebounds and 12 assists, to go along with eight points.
Taylor Schildroth took over offensively in the second half, recording a game-high 24 points despite running a temperature of 101, according to Carter.
“You expect one of your best players to step up when you need them to, and Taylor really did that today,” said Carter. “Moving Jarrod [Chase] out wide also allowed us to really work the ball around in the second half, so that was a good offensive adjustment.”
“It’s hard to do this [win a regional title] two years in a row,” added Carter. “The expectation was different this year, because we won last year. Last year’s felt so sweet, but this one has a different feeling to it.”
The only team standing between George Stevens and a second-straight Class C State title is Winthrop, who is in first place in Class C West. Both teams are undefeated heading into the state championship game, scheduled for the final game of State Championship Day, Saturday, March 4 at the Cross Insurance Center.
“We’re ready for the challenge,” said Carter. “We played them once in a preseason scrimmage after only one practice and lost, but we know their players and know how they play. They’re an aggressive team, but we’re ready for them. And we’re playing [at the Cross Insurance Center], which is kind of like home court advantage for us.”
A celebration reception is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, February 26 in the George Stevens Academy cafeteria.