Houlton knocks off GSA boys’ basketball team in Class C North title game

first_img Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at mmandell@ellsworthamerican.com. Bio Latest Posts BANGOR — It’s over.After three straight Gold Ball wins and countless nights of dominating opponents on the Cross Insurance Center floor, the George Stevens Academy boys’ basketball team’s run of mid-February dominance has come to an end. GSA’s latest opponent, the Houlton Shiretowners, proved worthy of dethroning the back-to-back-to-back regional and state champions with an impressive performance from start to finish.Houlton defeated GSA 54-34 in the Northern Maine championship game Saturday to draw the Eagles’ reign as the unquestioned kings of Class C North boys’ basketball to a close. The Shiretowners overcame a sluggish start to the game with an efficient shooting performance and relentless defense to gain separation from GSA, which will end the season without a state title for the first time in four years.“It just wasn’t our night,” GSA head coach Dwayne Carter said. “I’m a little disappointed we didn’t play our best game tonight, but that happens.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textIsaac Wardwell gave GSA a two-possession lead to start to the game with a pair of baskets in the first three and a half minutes, during which the Eagles kept No. 4 Houlton (18-4) scoreless. Yet things changed quickly past the halfway mark in the first quarter when Nolan Porter hit back-to-back 3-pointers for the Shiretowners to spark an 11-0 Houlton run.Houlton then followed a Tanner Ashley 3-pointer with a score of its own to end the first quarter, and the Shiretowners continued their momentum into the second with four of the period’s first five baskets. Third-ranked GSA (18-4) kept Houlton in check offensively for the rest of the half, but the Eagles themselves mustered just five points during that span and trailed 25-15 at the break.GSA’s Percy Zentz defends against Houlton’s Cameron Callnan during the second half of the Class C North boys’ basketball championship game Feb. 23 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Zentz was part of a GSA senior class that boasted an 82-6 record over four years. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL“They put a lot of ball pressure on, and they made every pass tough,” Carter said of Houlton’s suffocating defense. “We tried a bunch of different sets to try and get going, but we just could never get into a flow.”After GSA scored the first basket of the second half, senior Reece Dannenberg responded to four Houlton points with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 29-20. Yet the Shiretowners scored the next nine points and took a 40-24 lead into the fourth quarter when Caleb Solomon made a layup at the buzzer.GSA cut the deficit to 46-33 after Houlton stretched its lead to 20 points early in the fourth quarter, but that was as close as it would get. The Eagles’ only points the rest of the way came on a Percy Zentz free throw as the Shiretowners walked off the floor with a Class C North title.Wardwell led GSA with 14 points. Dannenberg (five points), Michael Moon (four points), Tanner Ashley (three), Zentz (three), Caden Mattson (two), Andrew Szwez (two) and Eric Mote (one) also scored for the Eagles.Carter said Houlton’s string of 11 straight points made a comeback difficult for GSA early in the game. Although there were still more than three quarters to play at that point, Houlton’s shot-making and tough defense made it hard for the Eagles to keep pace with the Shiretowners.“We got off to a good start, but then we missed our assignments and let Porter get open twice,” Carter said. “Once they got rolling, that was it.”Both Carter and Houlton head coach Tim Brewer felt confident about how their teams matched up against one another entering the contest. Yet the Shiretowners, who got 18 points from Keegan Gentle and 14 from Porter, got the better of GSA in the matchup battle as they were too much on offense and limited the reigning champs’ scoring output to roughly half their season average on defense.“Coming into the game, I actually thought we matched up well with them on the defensive end,” Brewer said. “I didn’t think they matched up with us on the offensive end as far as their defense; I didn’t think they had anyone who could guard Keegan.”Houlton will return to the Cross Center to face Class C South champion and No. 1 seed Winthrop (20-1) for the state title at 8:50 p.m. Saturday, March 2. The Shiretowners will be seeking their third state title after winning Gold Balls in 2004 and 2014.Although GSA’s string of regional and state titles is no more, the Eagles still proved they could compete with the best in returning to another Northern Maine championship game. With Szwez, Mattson and Moon back next year, Carter’s team will have title ambitions once again.“People didn’t expect us to get this far, but I knew we could,” Carter said. “It didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but it is what is.” MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020center_img Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all)last_img read more

Fast reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 11-10 loss to Virginia in the ACC tournament

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — As Syracuse midfielder Peter Dearth raced down the field, his teammate Nick Mellen stood over Virginia attack Michael Kraus, staring down UVA’s leading scorer. As Dearth scored, Mellen motioned to the UVA bench before pounding his chest and yelling out loud.Syracuse jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead because Mellen forced a Kraus turnover on the first possession that led to a fastbreak goal on the other end. When the first half whistle sounded, Virginia led SU 5-4. Kraus had either scored or assisted on every first-half goal.After antagonizing Kraus on the first play of the game, Mellen struggled to slow him down for the remaining 59 minutes as Kraus led No. 4 seed UVA (11-4, 1-3 Atlantic Coast) over No. 1 seed Syracuse (7-6, 4-0 Atlantic Coast), 11-10, at Klockner Stadium on Friday night in the ACC tournament semifinals.Here are three reactions from SU’s early exit.Michael Kraus proves dominantAdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs Virginia tacked on each goal in the first half, Kraus’ point total kept rising. The attack found himself the focal point of every offensive opportunity.Behind 3-2, Kraus tried to force his way toward cage against Mellen, but the defender held his position firmly, forcing Kraus behind the cage. But instead of dishing the ball, as he had done in the early minutes, Kraus curled back around the right side of SU goalie Dom Madonna. Mellen draped himself all over Kraus, but still the sophomore found space and rifled in a shot over his left shoulder and past Madonna.When he didn’t shoot, because the SU defense collapsed on him, Kraus found open attackers, notching three assists in the first half, as the Orange failed to protect the cage when it slid. Kraus’ teammates proved beneficiaries.SU’s offense can’t compete with UVA’sIn Syracuse’s first matchup with Virginia — despite escaping with a 12-11 win — the offense was denied by UVA goalie Alex Rode 15 times, and that trend continued Friday night at Klockner Stadium, as Rode added 10 saves.Early in the second quarter, SU earned a two-man-up opportunity. As the Orange swiftly moved the ball around the perimeter, Stephen Rehfuss cut out from behind the cage onto the right side of Rode. Quickly, Rehfuss’ teammates found him wide open, but as he ripped a shot low, Rode quickly reacted to stuff the attack and end his team’s two-man disadvantage.Continuously SU fired shots from the perimeter, unable to beat Rode.On Wednesday, ahead of SU and Virginia’s ACC tournament semifinals matchup, UVA head coach Lars Tiffany told The Daily Orange that he thought one of the most impressive parts of SU’s team was how the young offensive weapons grew from the first matchup. He didn’t have the same depth among his young players, he said.But while Rode dominated in cage, Matt Moore also thrived in the open field. The freshman midfielder notched five points on the day, taking over in the second half. At the end of the third quarter, when SU began gaining some momentum, Moore shut the door with a goal from 15 yards out and just 10.8 seconds remaining in the quarter.Syracuse struggles at the faceoff XIn the two teams’ first matchup in early March, Syracuse took advantage of Virginia’s defense by simply dominating possession and forcing the defenders to play more. SU won the faceoff battle 16-11 in that first contest.In this game, though, Danny Varello and the faceoff crew couldn’t muster the same success. Virginia beat SU in the faceoff X 18-7, forcing SU to do more offensively with fewer opportunities.And when SU did finally manage to win the faceoff, it often resulted in turnovers, poor shots or the back of Rode’s pocket. Comments Published on April 27, 2018 at 11:11 pm Contact Matt: mdliberm@syr.edulast_img read more

Today’s Local GAA Fixtures

first_imgTwo of them throw in at 2 o’ clock; Clonakenny versus Moyle Rovers in Boherlahan and Moyne/Templetuohy taking on Newport in Templederry.Then at 3 it’s Thurles Sarsfields up against Arravale Rovers at Kickham Park, with Cahir hosting the meeting of Galtee Rovers/St. Pecaun and St. Mary’s.You can also hear updates from the West Senior Football tie in Golden, where Aherlow Gaels face Éire Óg Anacarty/Donohill.Éire Óg are chasing a West double, after winning the hurling title.Throw-in there is at 3:30.Elsewhere today, Gortnahoe-Glengoole play Upperchurch-Drombane in a County Junior B Football Semi-Final from 3 at Kickham Park. There’s two North Junior B Hurling Semi-Finals, with both throwin in at 4:30: Lorrha versus Newport in Nenagh and Portroe playing Toomevara in Dolla.And Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher will be part of the Ireland side that will take on Scotland in the first Hurling/Shinty International.That game at Inverness starts at 2. Tipp FM will bring you live updates from both games.The first quarter-final sees Kildangan up against Mullinahone from 3:30, before the champions Loughmore-Castleiney and Clonoulty/Rossmore meet at 5 o’ clock. There are also four County Intermediate Hurling Quarter-Finals taking place later;last_img read more