The basketball tournament has already provided its share of drama and controversy and if that’s enough for the local sports fan, wrestling held its state meet Saturday and the boys’ hockey postseason is right around the corner.
Brunswick’s boys’ basketball team, a regional finalist last winter, earned the No. 6 seed in Class A South this winter and had to go up against perennial powerhouse Cape Elizabeth, the No. 3 seed, in the quarterfinals Saturday night. The teams had never met in a countable game, but did they ever have an introduction.
The Dragons erased an 8-5 deficit after one period to lead, 20-12, at halftime, then held on to a 33-25 after three quarters.
In the fourth, Brunswick extended its lead to 38-29 on a 3 from Nathan Benoit with 5:05 to play and Cape Elizabeth’s hopes were bleak, but the Capers went on an 11-0 run to lead, 40-38. The Dragons wouldn’t buckle, however, and with 21.1 seconds left, Benoit tied the game, 40-40, with two foul shots.
After Cape Elizabeth missed a buzzer-beater, the game went to a four-minute overtime.
There, just like in regulation, Brunswick took a lead and gave it back and Cape Elizabeth went on top late, 49-48.
Brunswick’s Josh Dorr was fouled with 6.7 seconds to go and he made the second of two attempts to tie the score, but the Capers got one final chance and they made the most of it.
With time winding down, Finn Bowe, who returned to action after missing the second half of the season with a broken leg, attempted a desperation 3 that was well off the mark, but as (or after, depending who you asked) the horn sounded, a foul was called and after a lengthy discussion, the foul stood.
Bowe went to the line with a chance to win it and he did so, draining a free throw to give Cape Elizabeth a breathtaking and controversial 50-49 overtime win.
The Dragons got 14 points from Benoit but finished the year 11-8.
Morse (4-14) and Mt. Ararat (4-14) failed to qualify for the playoffs.
On the girls’ side, Morse was the ninth seed in Class A South, but was eliminated, 38-25, by No. 8 Leavitt in a preliminary round contest last weekend to finish the year 5-14.
Brunswick earned the No. 2 seed in Class A South after a 15-3 campaign. Monday, the Dragons began what they hope will be a title run when they battled No. 7 Kennebunk (8-10) in the quarterfinals at the Portland Exposition Building. Brunswick rolled to a 57-42 victory and advanced to face No. 3 York (13-6) in Wednesday’s semifinals at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. The teams had no playoff history.
The Class A South Final is Saturday in Portland.
Mt. Ararat (3-15) failed to qualify for the Class A South playoffs.
Hyde (3-15) fell short in Class C South.
In Saturday’s Class A wrestling state meet, the Mt. Ararat/Brunswick squad tallied 61 points and came in fifth (Marshwood was first with 184). Morse’s 34 points left it 10th.
Mt. Ararat/Brunswick standout Robert Heatherman won the title at 170 pounds. Teammate Dylan Schenk was runner-up at 220 pounds.
Morse was paced by fourth-place finishers Donavin Rector (132), Isaiah Cogswell (138), Raz Baltazar (145) and Colby Gardner (170).
Brunswick’s girls’ hockey team got to the North Region semifinals last week where it gave defending (and eventual repeat) state champion St. Dom’s a scare before losing, 6-2, to finish 8-12.
On the boys’ side, the Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon co-op team began the week 7-10 and seventh in the Class A North Heal Points standings (only six teams from the region qualify for the playoffs) after an 8-1 loss at Cony and a 10-1 home victory over Maranacook. The squad closed the regular season Wednesday at St. Dom’s.
Brunswick fell to 2-12-1 and eighth in Class B South (where just six teams make the playoffs) after a 5-2 home loss to Greely and a 5-2 setback at Greely. The Dragons closed with games at Maranacook and Gardiner and at home versus Kennebunk.
Brunswick’s Josh Dorr has a shot blocked during the Dragons’ 50-49 loss to Cape Elizabeth in Saturday’s controversial and frustrating Class A South quarterfinal.
Brunswick junior Alejandro Garcia Sancho drives on a Cape Elizabeth defender during Saturday’s overtime loss.