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Mt. Ararat/Brunswick’s wrestlers and coaches and show off the trophy after winning the Class A state title Saturday.
Brunswick’s Riley Turgeon drives to the hoop during the Dragons’ 56-30 win over Mt. Ararat in Monday’s Class A South quarterfinal.
Brunswick’s Finn Mitchell bowls over a Falmouth defender during the Dragons’ 45-31 loss in Saturday’s Class A South quarterfinals.
(Ed. Note: For the complete Brunswick-Falmouth boys’ basketball game story, see theforecaster.net)
It was a memorable sports week in the Mid-Coast, with a state champion being crowned, excitement on the hardwood and hockey teams jockeying for playoff positioning.
The Mt. Ararat/Brunswick co-op wrestling team tallied 96 points to win the Class A championship Saturday in Augusta (Marshwood was second with 76.5).
The squad produced a trio of individual champions as well, Brycen Kowalsky at 113 pounds, Spencer LeClair at 132 pounds and Brady Mitchell Damms at 195 pounds.
Ben Laurence was third at 152 pounds, Mason Hultman came fourth at 170 pounds and Kyle Graffam placed fourth at 145 pounds.
“Our goal today wasn’t really to win on team points, actually. It was to win individually as a person, and the more we won as a person, the more team points we’d score,” LeClair said.
“It’s great, because our team’s worked so hard and we never really thought we’d get this far,” Mitchell Damms said. “To take it (as a team) and to individually take it is great.”
“I thought we had, at the beginning of the season, something really kind of special,” added Mt. Ararat/Brunswick coach Eric Jensen. “We’ve taken our lumps over the years, so it’s sort of gratifying to see it come together.”
Morse had 21.5 points and finished 17th in Class A. The Shipbuilders’ top finisher was Ihsan Myers, who was third at 182 pounds. Donovan Rector placed fourth at 132 pounds.
Brunswick’s powerhouse girls’ basketball team got its tournament run off to a fast start Monday at the Portland Exposition Building.
The Dragons, seeded second in Class A South, had no trouble with rival No. 7 seed Mt. Ararat, 56-30, Monday.
Brunswick moved on to meet third-ranked Marshwood (15-4) in Wednesday’s semifinal round at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. The teams didn’t play this winter.
If the Dragons reach Saturday’s regional final at CIA, they will likely face defending champion Greely, the undefeated top seed. Brunswick lost, 67-46, Dec. 28 in a game played at the Expo. The teams have split two playoff meetings the past two years.
Mt. Ararat’s season ended at 8-11 with its loss to Brunswick.
On the boys’ side, No. 8 Mt. Ararat beat No. 9 Morse, 83-43 in last Tuesday’s Class A South preliminary round, ending the Shipbuilders’ season at 4-15.
The Eagles then lost, 70-46, to top-ranked, two-time defending champion Greely in the quarterfinals to finish the year 10-10.
Brunswick, meanwhile, ranked sixth, earned a bye into the quarterfinals at the Expo and met third-seeded Falmouth Saturday night. The Dragons overcame a slow start and held a surprising 22-21 halftime lead, but they only managed nine second half points and went down to defeat, 45-31, to finish 9-10. Finn Mitchell had 15 points and Sam Sharpe added 11, but it wasn’t enough.
“We got the shots we wanted, but we just didn’t make them (in the second half),” said Sharpe. “We’re a gritty team. We have a lot of players who play hard. The seniors wanted another game.”
“We knew we couldn’t run up and down with (Falmouth), that we had to ride out possessions,” longtime Brunswick coach Todd Hanson said. “The first half was textbook. The second half, I think the kids got tired. We got good looks, but we just didn’t make them.
“These kids have a lot of fight in them. Every game has been a grind for us. I told the kids in the locker room, we lost five senior starters last year, so I tip my cap to them to fight through and get back here and put on a pretty good showing. When we look back, we’ll be really proud of the way we finished the 2019 season.”
On the ice, the boys’ hockey regular season was winding down when this edition went to press.
In Class A North, the Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon/Hyde co-op team wound up 8-9-1 after a 10-0 loss at St. Dom’s Saturday. The squad will be the No. 5 seed for the playoffs and will play a quarterfinal round postseason contest on the road next week against a yet-to-be-determined foe.
In Class B South, Brunswick was 9-8 and clinging to the seventh and final playoff spot following a 4-2 loss at Cape Elizabeth and a 3-0 setback at Maranacook. The Dragons closed at York Thursday. If Brunswick held off Gardiner for the final playoff berth, it will play a road quarterfinal next week.
Press Herald staff writers Steve Craig and Mike Lowe contributed to this story.