Leaders shine for Wolverines
There comes a time in every successful team’s season when the leaders need to step it up if a program expects to continue its winning ways.
Monday night’s Mountain Valley Conference high school boys basketball contest was this case in point, with Wiscasset senior Jordan Jones scoring 15 of his teamhigh 17 points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Wolverines slipped past St. Dom’s 58-56 at Callahan Family Memorial Gymnasium.
“ We just started playing better, settled down, and I started to get some good looks,” said Jones, who scored seven of his squad’s 10 overtime points, including a big 3-pointer for a 53-48 lead. “It was a tough game, but we played good defense. I’ve had three years on this team, and we have a lot of seniors, so we have to step up in these kinds of situations. Tonight was my night.”
Things were made even more difficult with the absence of senior captain Devin Grover, who not only missed this contest, but the first day of school in his entire high school career.
Still, Wiscasset improved to 10-7. More importantly, the Wolverines moved up to the seventh spot in the Western Maine Class C Heal Point Standings.
On this night, others also shined for Wiscasset: Travis Padilla, who had 15 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, and Austin Haskell with 10 points and six caroms. Jason Weatherbee was tough inside with seven rebounds, working alongside captain Caleb Bryant (10 rebounds) in trying to neutralize Saints big man Tom Applegate ( 18 points, 13 rebounds, five blocked shots).
“The leadership was huge, three or four guys who can take this team on their shoulders and lead us,” said Wiscasset coach Dana Lawrence. “The kids play hard night-in and night- out, and tonight was a great defensive effort against a good St. Dom’s team. In my eyes, they ( St. Dom’s) are one of the strongest teams in the league. But, my kids have a lot of heart.”
Saints take over
The second half featured both teams going on sustained runs.
St. Dom’s started things late in third quarter and into the fourth, turning a 29- 26 deficit into a 37-29 lead off an 11-0 run.
Wiscasset refused to quit, answering with a 9-0 spurt, with Jones scoring five points. His trey with 3:21 left put the Wolverines ahead 41- 39. Bryant stepped up, netting two baskets, and Haskell drained a free throw for a 48- 43 lead with 47 seconds remaining in regulation.
St. Dom’s came back, getting an offensive putback by Applegate. The Saints pressed, with Andrew Gosselin ripping the ball away and feeding teammate Joe Bryant for a game-tying trey with eight seconds on the clock. Applegate swatted away Wiscasset’s chance to win it in regulation time.
“They know us, we know them, and our guys showed much better in the second half,” said Lawrence, whose team led 12-9 after a quarter and was tied at 25 at the half. “We never quit. I have been after them about how difficult we make things sometimes, but when we are down we can come back. We have shown that all year.”
In overtime, Jones sank a pair of free throws and stepped back for a 3-pointer on the ensuing Wolverines possession for a five- point lead. Down six, Joe Bryant, who had a game- high 20 points, including four 3-pointers, nailed one from long distance for St. Dom’s.
Jones again made two freebies for a 56-51 edge. A free throw by Haskell was sandwiched by a runner from Joe Bryant and a trey from Gosselin to bring the Saints within 57-56 with eight ticks on the clock. Haskell made one of two from the line and Joe Bryant’s last gasp 3 to win it skipped off the rim at the buzzer.
“ We tried to make some adjustments in our press, and we did a nice job forcing some turnovers, but all you can do is make some adjustments and work hard,” said St. Dom’s coach Ryan Deschenes, whose team dropped to 7-10 and currently holds down the 11th and final playoff spot in Western C. “We didn’t relax all night, but Wiscasset turned it on there, and that is what good teams do.”
Gosselin had eight points for St. Dom’s, which shot 31 percent ( 21 of 67) from the floor and made seven of 13 free throws. Joe Bryant had five rebounds and four steals, Zak Johnson dished out four assists and David Dean had three steals.
Wiscasset, which hosts rival Boothbay on Wednesday in its regular-season finale, was 17 of 47 (36 percent) from the floor and 17 of 24 at the charity stripe.
St. Dom’s 56, OT
At Callahan Family
Wiscasset — Jordan Jones 5-4-17,
Caleb Bryant 2-0-4, Travis Padilla 4-6-
15, Austin Haskell 2- 5- 10, Jason
Weatherbee 2-1-5, Ben Sutter 0-0-0,
James Andretta 1-1-4, Zach Ellison 0-
0-0, Cory Hodgdon 1-0-3. Totals — 17-
St. Dom’s — Zak Johnson 1- 0- 2,
David Dean 0-0-0, Joe Bryant 8-0-20,
Ian McCracken 2-0-5, Tom Applegate
6-6-18, Nick Hatfield 1-1-3, Andrew
Gosselin 3-0-8. Totals — 21-7-56.
3-pointers — (W) Jones 3, Padilla,
Haskell, Andretta, Hodgdon; (SD) J.
Bryant 4, McCracken, Gosselin 2.
Records — Wiscasset 10-7, St. Dom’s
Next for the Wolverines — Home on
Wednesday in regular-season finale
against Boothbay, 7 p.m.