Blue Hill—Sometimes you win, and sometimes you really win. The George Stevens varsity boys basketball team scored a clutch win in overtime against Bucksport December 19 after rolling past Ellsworth four days earlier before a home crowd.
The Eagles grabbed a solid 19-8 first quarter lead against Class B Ellsworth and never looked back. Sophomore Caden Mattson set the tone with back-to-back three-pointers early in the first quarter, and the Eagles exited the floor at half time ahead 29-17. They ended with a 60-38 victory, allowing the Class B team only five points in the third quarter.
Senior Taylor Schildroth netted 20 points and eight rebounds for a team high, with Max Mattson hitting 10 points.
“Our defense was the key to the win as it was solid, consistent and fueled our offense,” Coach Dwayne Carter said after the game.
The same held true at Bucksport December 19, where the battle began at tipoff and didn’t end until the last seconds of overtime.
Bucksport jumped to a six-point lead in the first quarter but the Eagles scrambled to a one-point lead to begin the second quarter 19-18 and kept that edge for a paper-thin 32-31 lead at half time.
A six-point run midway in the third quarter extended their lead to 48-44 heading into the final quarter but Bucksport kept clawing its way back, edging into a one-point lead as the score see-sawed in the final minutes. With the score tied at 61 points, and 37 seconds left on the clock, GSA held onto the ball before taking a last-gasp shot that bounced off the rim.
The Eagles, missing back-injured senior Max Mattson’s defense at the net, used Caden Mattson’s defensive play to shut down Bucksport’s high scorer Chase Carmichael in the second half and in overtime, where the score see-sawed until the final 45 seconds.
With the score tied at 66, Schildroth finessed a layup for a two-point lead, while drawing a foul. He missed the free throw but junior Isaac Wardwell grabbed the rebound. With both teams in bonus, drawing free throws off every foul, junior Reece Dannenberg went to the foul line and extended GSA’s lead to three points with eight seconds left on the clock. Bucksport could not get a clear shot and the Eagles won 69-66 powered by Schildroth’s game-high 38 points.
The Eagles now stand at 3-1 and host Sumner on Thursday, December 21, before back-to-back away games. They return to home court on January 4 against Narraguagus.