Cape Elizabeth senior Finn Bowe drives to the basket during the Capers’ 46-38 win at Waynflete Wednesday afternoon.
Brian Beard photos.
More photos below.
CE- 13 19 13 1- 46
W- 11 16 6 5- 38
CE- Bowe 6-1-16, Hartel 3-1-7, Hare 2-0-6, Carpenter 1-2-5, Hagos 2-0-5, Mullen 2-0-4, Jacobson 1-0-3
W- Houssein 9-1-21, Scott 2-0-6, Campbell 2-0-4, Mohammed 1-2-4, Brooks 1-0-2, Johnson 0-1-1
CE (8) Bowe 3, Hare 2, Carpenter, Hagos, Jacobson 1
W (4) Houssein, Scott 2
PORTLAND—Scoring one point in the fourth quarter isn’t usually a recipe for success, but Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ basketball team managed to survive a frustrating finish to Wednesday’s interclass showdown at Waynflete.
The Capers started strong, riding eight points from senior standout Finn Bowe to a 13-11 lead after eight minutes, as they overcame nine points and five steals from Flyers sophomore sensation Askar Houssein.
The second period was frenetic and a lot of fun to watch as the lead changed hands four times before Cape Elizabeth junior Tanner Carpenter scored the final five points to produce a 32-27 advantage.
When the Capers extended the lead to 45-33 after three quarters, it looked like victory was imminent, but the visitors wouldn’t make another field goal.
Waynflete wasn’t able to take advantage, however, getting no closer than seven points and Cape Elizabeth held on for a 46-38 victory.
Bowe led the way with 16 points and the Capers improved to 3-1, dropping the Flyers to 3-2 in the process.
“It’s a good win,” said longtime Cape Elizabeth coach Jim Ray. “It was good to be tested. (Waynflete’s) a good team. Nice, tough kids. They play hard. They’ll win a lot of games. They just ran out of time.”
Waynflete has more than held its own against top teams from the Western Maine Conference, regardless of class, in recent years.
The Flyers have used those games, wins or losses, to springboard themselves into the playoffs where they’ve become accustomed to making a deep run.
Waynflete got to the Class C South semifinals a year ago and so far this winter, has been its usual competitive self. The Flyers opened with a 50-47 loss at defending Class B champion Wells, then rolled at North Yarmouth Academy (67-24) and won at Traip Academy (71-52) and A.R. Gould (44-41).
Cape Elizabeth, a Class A South semifinalist last winter, opened with a 66-50 home loss to Greely, then got in the win column, 58-47, over visiting Fryeburg Academy and Friday, won at Old Orchard Beach, 65-50.
Prior to Wednesday, the teams hadn’t met since the 2012-13 season (see sidebar, below, for previous results).
This time around, the Flyers looked for just their second-ever win over the Capers and their first in nearly six years, but Cape Elizabeth did enough to improve to 6-1 all-time in the series.
Houssein made an immediate impact, stealing the ball and making a layup 18 seconds in for the game’s first points.
Bowe countered at the other end, finishing Carpenter’s feed with a layup of his own.
After Houssein made a free throw, Bowe sank a 3-pointer and junior Mana Hagos followed with a 3-ball of his own for an 8-3 lead.
After Houssein made another layup after a steal, Houssein hit a leaner, but Carpenter set up junior Andrew Hartel for a layup and a 10-7 advantage.
After yet another Houssein steal, Houssein passed off to junior Musaid Mohammed for a layup, but Bowe countered with another silky smooth 3. Houssein scored one more layup after a steal in the final seconds, but after eight minutes, Cape Elizabeth held a 13-11 lead.
Houssein had nine points and five steals in the first quarter, but the Capers, despite nine turnovers, got eight points from Bowe to grab the lead.
“It’s fun when there are a lot of points,” said Bowe. “It was good to get up and down.”
Things remained taut and back-and-forth in the second period.
A pair of free throws from Mohammed tied the score and after Hartel hit a foul shot, Houssein hit a leaner after a highlight reel spin move for a 15-14 Waynflete lead.
Senior Liam Jacobson put Cape Elizabeth back on top with a 3-pointer from the corner, but Houssein countered with a 3-ball of his own to make it 18-17 Flyers.
A putback from freshman Nathan Mullen put the Capers back on top and Bowe set up Mullen for a layup on the fastbreak, before freshman Dominick Campbell countered with a putback for the hosts to cut the deficit to one.
When Hartel hit a bank shot and Bowe made a fadeaway jumper, Cape Elizabeth was up, 25-20, but senior Christian Brooks scored on a putback for Waynflete and Houssein made another layup after a breathtaking spin move. Hartel countered with a putback, but with 2:09 to go in the half, Flyers junior Finn Scott’s 3-pointer tied the score for the final time, 27-27.
Fifty-seven seconds later, the Capers took the lead for good, as Carpenter was fouled after grabbing an offensive rebound and he hit both free throws. Carpenter then made a 3-pointer in the final minute of the half to give Cape Elizabeth a 32-27 advantage at the break.
In the first half, Houssein led all scorers with 16 points, but the Capers held the lead.
The second half would largely be one of frustration for both teams, but Cape Elizabeth did just enough to get out of town with a victory.
The Capers started the second half slowly, forcing Ray to call timeout, and then his charges opened up a seemingly insurmountable lead.
A little over two minutes in, Bowe hit a 3.
Houssein countered with a 3-pointer, but senior David Hare took a pass from Bowe and made a 3, then Hare took another pass from Bowe and sank another 3-pointer for a 41-30 advantage.
“We had one or two passes and shot the ball and I wasn’t happy with it,” Ray said. “I made clear what the message was at halftime. We needed to become more disciplined.”
Scott answered with a 3 for Waynflete, but Bowe hit a leaner and with 1:08 to go in the third, Hagos scored on a leaner for a 45-33 lead.
Shockingly, the would be Cape Elizabeth’s final field goal, but the Capers would never be seriously threatened in the final stanza.
After freshman Jared Johnson made a free throw for the Flyers to open the fourth period scoring, no one scored until 2:57 remained, when Houssein dazzled everyone with a no-look pass to Campbell for a layup.
With 1:18 to go, Houssein drove for a layup to cut the deficit to seven, but Waynflete wouldn’t score again and with 26.2 seconds on the clock, Bowe made a free throw to end an 8-minute, 42-second drought and produce the final margin in the Capers’ 46-38 victory.
“We didn’t have to score to win,” Bowe said. “It’s tough to play here. It’s packed in and loud. The crowd’s on top of you, but it’s fun. We broke them down defensively. We stopped Askar from getting in the paint and they didn’t make 3s.”
“It’s not very often you have more turnovers in a period than points and win a game,” Ray said. “That’s been an Achilles’ heel for us. We had a relatively commanding lead. You could tell from the first two minutes it was going to be a tough game.”
Bowe, who had most of his large, basketball-talented family in attendance, led the way with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He also had five assists and a steal.
Hartel added seven points and a couple blocked shots.
Hare had six points, three assists and stepped it up defensively in the second half.
“David Hare is tougher than a bag of rocks and he made a great effort on (Askar),” Ray said.
Carpenter had five points (and nine rebounds), Hagos also had five points (and five boards), while Mullen added four and Jacobson finished with three.
The Capers made eight 3-pointers, enjoyed a 37-29 rebounding advantage, made 4 of 8 foul shots and overcame 17 turnovers.
Waynflete was paced by Houssein, who had 21 points, six steals, four rebounds and four assists.
“Askar can be a great individual player, but we needed to stay in a team concept,” Flyers coach Rich Henry said. “When those individual moves he makes start falling short because he’s tired, everyone else has been standing around and who’s going to score? He put on quite a show, but we need a more balanced attack.”
Scott added six points, Campbell and Mohammed had four apiece, Brooks finished with two (to go with seven rebounds) and Johnson had one.
The Flyers only committed 10 turnovers, but missed 11 of 15 free throws.
“We talked about the empty possessions we had and how many points we left on the free throw line,” Henry said. “They call them free throws for a reason and if you have an opportunity to score on the line against a good team like Cape Elizabeth, you have to take advantage.
“I was proud of our bench play. We have a deep team. I was pleased how Finn played, how Musaid played, how Dominick played. No one who came in off the bench created a letdown.”
Waynflete doesn’t have long to lick its wounds, as it welcomes another powerhouse, Yarmouth, Friday afternoon, in the Flyers’ final game of 2017.
“We get a lot from playing a game like this,” Henry said. “This pays off in experience. It’s scary to think about how fast it goes once December and January roll around, but I’m feeling pretty good.”
Cape Elizabeth is back in action Friday at Kennebunk. After meeting Falmouth at the Portland Exposition Building Wednesday of next week, the Capers close the 2017 portion of their schedule with a home tilt versus Westbrook Dec. 29.
“We still have a lot to improve on,” Bowe said. “We have to take care of the ball and score. We can become more fluid, but we’re getting better. We’re looking forward to the games that test you. They get us ready for the tournament.”
“My guys had to survive (tonight) and hopefully they learned a lot,” Ray said. “We have a lot to learn. We have a tough stretch coming up. Kennebunk will be a tough matchup for us. They have a good core of kids back. We’re looking forward to that.”
Waynflete sophomore Askar Houssein splits a pair of Cape Elizabeth defenders en route to two of his game-high 21 points.
Cape Elizabeth junior Andrew Hartel leans in for a shot.
Waynflete junior Alex Saade soars for a shot.
Cape Elizabeth junior Tanner Carpenter goes up for a shot as Waynflete senior Christian Brooks defends.
Cape Elizabeth senior David Hare dribbles through Waynflete junior Finn Scott, left, and sophomore Askar Houssein.
Cape Elizabeth junior Andrew Hartel and Waynflete senior Christian Brooks meet in the air.
@ Cape Elizabeth 52 Waynflete 34
@ Cape Elizabeth 43 Waynflete 34
Cape Elizabeth 63 @ Waynflete 39
@ Cape Elizabeth 82 Waynflete 24
Cape Elizabeth 69 @ Waynflete 57