BANGOR – It was Gould Academy that had the greater need for foul weather gear Saturday.

After being plagued by foul trouble during the Western D tournament, the Huskies saw history repeat Saturday. Gould was in foul trouble early and never got on track against a potent Deer Isle-Stonington team. The Mariners broke open the game with a decisive second quarter and left Gould in its wake in a 76-54 win in the Class D state championship at the Bangor Auditorium.

Decked out in fisherman hats and rain gear, the Mariner fans celebrated their first state title since Stonington won back-to-back in 1961 and 1962.

“I dreamed about this last night,” said senior guard Bryant Ciomei. “It was great. It’s even better than I thought. It’s been 40 or 50 years since we’ve won. I hope we can comeback and do it again next year. I won’t be here, but it’s something that’s going to stick for a long time.”

The Mariners averaged 81.5 points per game in the Eastern D tournament. So Gould had its work cut out to begin with. When the Huskies got into foul trouble right away, Gould was in trouble. Ian Siekman picked up three fouls in the first quarter. Then Seth Gray and T.L. Tutor each had three by halftime. The foul differential was 11-2 at the half, and the Huskies had three starters in danger.

“It killed us today,” said Gould coach Todd Siekman. “I don’t want to talk about the foul trouble. We were in foul trouble, and it hurt us.”

While trying to shuffle the lineup, the Huskies had to find a way to keep pace with the Mariners. Deer-Isle-Stonington seized the opportunity and created a perfect storm that overwhelmed the Huskies in the second quarter. The Mariners turned a 14-10 lead after the opening quarter into a 39-22 lead at the half.

“When we started seeing them get in foul trouble and rush shots and taking bad shots, we really thought we had a good chance,” said Ciomei. “We really wanted to put it on them right there.”

Collin Ciomei, the Eastern D MVP, led the Mariners (22-0) with 23 points while his brother Bryant added 20. Jonathan Eaton added 10 while Eben Powers and Shane Eaton each had eight. The Huskies (17-1) got 24 from Tutor before he fouled out with 4:28 left in the fourth. Tyler Bruens and Ian Siekman each had nine.

“They have an awesome team,” said Siekman. “They move the ball well. They find the right looks. It’s great. I’m very impressed with the way they played.”

Gould was never able to take advantage of its size inside. With Siekman in foul trouble and Tyler Bruens out in the second quarter getting his knee taped, the Mariners didn’t have to worry about Gould establishing its inside presence.

“I kept waiting for them to post us,” said Deer Isle-Stonington coach Glenn Billings. “We had two or three scenarios if they did. We were going to try a zone. We were going to try moving them off the block or double down. We had four or five things we were going to throw at them. I am surprised with their athleticism that they didn’t try to run a little more motion offense.”

Despite being lured into a faster paced game, Gould managed to stay with the Mariners in the opening quarter, trailing by just four. The Huskies tied it on three different occasions before Collin Ciomei hit two free throws and Powers scored in the paint.

“That first quarter we didn’t get out running like we wanted to,” said Ciomei. “They were making some shots and really screwed us up on the tempo. The second quarter, once they started missing, we got the ball up the floor, and that’s just what we wanted.”

When Siekman went out with foul trouble and Bruens was out momentarily, the Huskies were shorthanded. Then Gray and Tutor added to their foul troubles. While Gould reeled from the adversity, the Mariners pushed down the throttle. Gould hit just one of its first six shots and had eight turnovers in the second quarter. That just fueled the Mariner’s running game.

“These kids, their strength is running, transition, passing the ball, looking ahead and filling the lanes,” said Billings. “They’ve been doing that since they were knee-high. They’re so good at it and everybody has the same amount of skills.”

The Mariners opened a 14-12 lead with seven straight points, capped off by a three-point play by Bryant Ciomei. Gould was down by as many as 15 in the quarter, and Siekman desperately tried to calm his troops and get them to settle the game down.

“We definitely didn’t want to be running that fast,” said Siekman. “We wanted to slow it down and work it inside to our big guys. That was our one advantage because we had some height on them.”

Even when Gould managed to stick a shot here or there, the Huskies were beaten down the floor as the Mariners finished the half with a 12-6 spurt that made it 39-22.

“We worked all week long on trying to get back,” said Siekman. “Our guys were back but not fast enough. They did what they wanted to do.”

In the second half, Gould pulled out a zone and were successful in getting a halfcourt game, but the Mariners thrived from the outside. Bryant Ciomei hit a trio of 3-pointers and Shane Eaton added one as the lead got to 25.

At one point, Ciomei drilled a 3-pointer and teased his coach on the way back up the floor.

“I told them to settle it down,” said Billing. “I turned around, and he drains it and says, ‘How’s that?'”

Gould got within 16 in the final quarter but lost Tutor and Evan Bruens to fouls.


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