January 3, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: Eagles drop Cougars

By Travis Lazarczyk tlazarczyk@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

FARMINGTON -- With Wednesday's 77-30 win over Mt. Blue, the Messalonskee boys basketball team ensured it will improve on last season's record. Senior center Elijah Steele said the Eagles are just getting started.

"We had confidence coming into this season that we could play with anybody," Steele said. "The confidence is the biggest difference from last year."

This win at Mt. Blue was Messalonskee's second victory in a row and the Eagles now stand at 3-4. Mt. Blue dropped to 0-7.

The biggest difference in this game was Messalonskee's size. Once the Eagles realized the Cougars could not defend the 6-foot-4 Steele or 6-5 Nick Mayo, Messalonskee worked at pounding the ball inside for easy, and often uncontested, shots.

"Our shots weren't falling at the beginning of the game, but we were getting rebounds and second chances," said Steele, who scored a game-high 21 points to go with 12 rebounds.

Ahead 31-19 at the half, Messalonskee opened the third quarter with a 9-1 run to push its lead to 20 points, 40-20. When Steele sat, guard Jordon Holmes took over Messalonskee's offense. Holmes scored nine consecutive points, extending the Eagles' lead to 49-23. Holmes finished with 15 points while Mayo added 12 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

"We came in at the half and talked about how we had to get the best shot, not the quick shot," Messalonskee coach Pete McLaughlin said. "Overall, our intensity on defense helped us a lot. We're starting our offense on the defensive end."

The Eagles scored the first 19 points of the fourth quarter and outscored the Cougars 46-11 in the second half.

Drew Parsons led Mt. Blue with eight points. Brad Durrell grabbed nine rebounds for the Cougars.

Travis Lazarczyk -- 861-9242


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