AUGUSTA – With time winding down in the third quarter Saturday, Buckfield’s Cy Wilkinson tried to apply the exclamation point to a Western Class D boys’ basketball quarterfinal rout with a dunk that didn’t cooperate.

On his next trip down the court, when a fan hollered a few words of consolation, the 6-foot-1, mullet-haired Wilkinson responded with a shrug and a sheepish grin.

It was that kind of day for No. 5 Buckfield, which steamrolled No. 4 Elan School of Poland Spring, 62-33, and stormed into the semifinals at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday against top-seeded Richmond.

“We tried to get the best scouting report we could. I’m not sure how they got to be the fourth seed,” said Buckfield coach Cam Cowett. “We play Richmond twice, Valley twice and Rangeley twice. I think your schedule makes your team, or at least it makes your team better.”

Buckfield (10-7) scored the first 10 points and pushed the tempo throughout. Wilkinson led four players in double figures with 18 points. Jamie Henderson, the Bucks’ lone senior and a four-year starter, added 16 points, nine rebounds, six assists and six steals.

Wilkinson and Henderson combined for all of Buckfield’s seven 3-pointers. They were also at the heart of a smothering defensive effort that forced 32 turnovers and held Elan to 23 percent proficiency from the field.

“We felt pretty good about our chances,” said Buckfield junior and coach’s son Zach Cowett, who contributed 10 points and seven rebounds. “All we did in practice was work on plays.”

Five different Bucks scored to stamp out a 13-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Henderson had nine in the second period, including a 3-pointer at the horn to make it 29-12 at the half.

Malcolm Turner scored every point for the Buccaneers (9-4) in the first half. Buckfield held Turner to two after the break. He finished with a team-high 14 points and nine rebounds for Elan.

Ryan Panzone produced his entire 10 points in the third quarter, but Elan was unable to cut into Buckfield’s advantage. John Condon lit the victory cigar with eight of his 12 points in the fourth for Buckfield, turning his team’s attention to a more familiar but more difficult foe. Richmond routed Buckfield twice during the East-West Conference season.

“They’re tough. I kind of hope (Rangeley) beats them,” Zach Cowett said before Saturday’s last semifinal.

Win or lose Wednesday, Buckfield has rediscovered some of the form that made the Bucks a perennial championship contender in the 1990s.

“This is the first time I’ve ever won a game here,” noted Zach Cowett. “Valley and Rangeley knocked us out the last two years. It feels good.”


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