WISCASSET – The team Randy Parenteau saw in the first quarter Thursday was one he didn’t recognize, but the Livermore Falls boys’ basketball coach liked what he saw.

The Andies roared out to a 13-point lead in the opening quarter in last night’s Western C preliminary game and kept Wiscasset of kilter much of the night in a 64-46 victory.

“All year we never had that,” said Parenteau of the kind of intensity his club displayed from the outset. “This is really the first game where we came out and took it to them from the get-go. Usually it takes us a half to warm up, and tonight, we were ready.”

The Andies (13-6) advance to Monday’s quarterfinal with top-ranked Dirigo. It is the first trip to Augusta for Livermore Falls since losing in the quarterfinals to Georges Valley in 2004.

Wiscasset (11-8) had won the regular-season meeting between the two clubs, 75-53. Jason Dennison, Nick Hinkley and Matt McRae combined for 73 of the points in that game. Dennison missed the prelim because of illness, and Hinkley and McRae were held to just 12 points total.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well tonight, and they did,” said Wiscasset coach Matt Cook, who was missing Dennison for the last three games, but had expected him to return before learning just prior to the game that he was too ill.

“That was the difference. Not having Jason Dennison, our leading scorer, hurt, but we’ve been dealing with adversity all year. We’ve been able to come through, but tonight we couldn’t.”

Mike Durrell, who missed the regular-season game against the Redskins, led the Andies with 23 points. He had 10 in the first quarter, and the Andies rolled to the early lead. As effective as he was offensively, he was a force on defense while anchoring Livermore Falls’ 1-3-1 zone.

“He was a huge difference defensively as well as offensively,” said Cook. “They put him in the middle of that 1-3-1. Our kids had a hard time seeing shots.”

The Andies hit four of their first five shots and finished 8-for-13 in the quarter. The Redskins missed its first four shots and went 3-for-10 to fall behind quickly. Wiscasset also had eight turnovers in the opening quarter.

“The slow start really dug us in a hole that was difficult to get out of,” said Cook.

Davis Mercier and Durrell combined for eight points to open an 8-2 lead. Then back-to-back three-point plays by Durrell made it 14-5. Durrell, Zack Keene and Mercier scored to finish the quarter up 20-7. Mercier finished with 22 points, and Keene added 15.

Instead of a fast-paced run-and-gun style, the Andies forced the Redskins to play to a slower tempo. Wiscasset not only failed to get quality shots, but struggled for rebounds.

“We put in the 1-3-1 because we knew they were a team that liked to shoot elbow extended 3-pointers,” said Parenteau. “So we put in a 1-3-1 to take away those shots.”

Six straight points by Keene helped Livermore build a 35-17 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, the Redskins picked up the pace. When shots began to fall, Wiscasset pulled within 12 after being down by 22. The Andies countered and put the game away with a 10-points run early in the fourth.

“I told them ‘Just don’t get caught up in it and take care of the ball and be patient with the ball,'” said Parenteau.


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