BANGOR – Funny what happens to a friendly basketball exhibition when both teams have a chance to win the game in the final minute of regulation.

For more than 31 minutes of happy hoop, the Boys’ Class

C/D McDonald’s senior all-star teams were cruising along as politely and playfully as one could imagine. You hit a lay-up, we knock down a 3-pointer, and you return the favor with a baseline jump shot. Let’s all smile and share the wealth.

Then the clock dwindled to double digits, and bragging rights suddenly showed their infamous face. The East and West exchanged more time outs and situational substitutions than spectators might see in the final 60 seconds of a professional contest.

It all produced the closest finish in the 23-year history of the boys’ benefit games. Travis Patterson of Dexter nailed a 15-footer with four seconds remaining, and Winthrop’s Joel Weisberger narrowly missed his 3-point reply at the horn as the East rallied for a 76-75 victory at Newman Gymnasium.

There had never been a one-point verdict in either the boys’ A/B or C/D series.

“It’s all fun and games out there for three quarters,” said Patterson. “The fourth quarter, that’s when you really want to win.”

Competitive juices took over and fashioned an thrilling finish to an already entertaining confrontation that featured eight lead changes and five ties prior to Patterson’s game-winner.

The West forged ahead 69-66 on a 3-pointer by Jay’s Josh Armandi with 4:06 remaining. Kinsey Durgin of Telstar scored a pair of buckets to protect the lead down the stretch, and Kyle Yarbrough’s short jumper made it 75-72 with 1:04 to play.

Corey Shields followed a Jonathan Carney miss to slice the East’s gap to one with 45 seconds left. Neil Stewart of Rangeley drove the open lane in an attempt to pad the lead with 19 seconds to go, but his bid brushed off the front of the rim and into the waiting arms of defensive rebounder Nick Henry.

After calling a timeout to sketch out its final shot, the East located Patterson just above the free-throw line.

“I’ve had that play called for me a lot,” said Patterson, “but this might be the first time I’ve ever made the shot.”

Patterson left the West with four seconds to respond. The East had one foul remaining to give before putting the West in the bonus, however, and it alertly committed that infraction with two seconds to go.

That was enough time for Weisberger to catch and shoot, but the West, which made seven 3-pointers in the game, watched the desperation heave fall short.

Weisberger led the West with 17 points, all but four of them in the second half. Durgin added 15 and combined with Stewart and Mike Albert of St. Dom’s for 17 rebounds.

Matt Mulligan of Penobscot Valley scored 14 points to steer the East. Jamey Polk of Sumner amassed 10 of his 12 points in the first quarter.

Southern Aroostook’s Shields delivered 10 points and 14 rebounds, while Henry of Class C champion George Stevens supplemented his seven points with 11 boards.

West A/B 87, East A/B 59

Six dunks and too many unselfish passes to count characterized the West A/B all-stars’ resounding 87-59 victory over the East.

After spotting the East a 6-0 lead on two 3-pointers in the opening minute, the West followed Jason Hight’s lead to a 20-15 advantage and wore down the East with its size and depth thereafter.

Westbrook’s Hight scored nine of his 15 points in the first period. Jeff Holmes of regional champion Cheverus led the West with 18 points.

Sean Mayo of Thornton (14 points) and Patrick Conway of Deering (12) also reached double digits for the West, which limited the East to only four field goals inside the 3-point stripe in the first half.

Ryan McLellan of Nokomis scored 18 points before fouling out for the East, which was already missing injured Fred Bird of Presque Isle and Billy Russo of Mt. Blue from its original 10-man roster. Drew Pelletier of Brunswick and Jac Arbour of Cony each added 11 points.

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