SOUTH PORTLAND — The Central Maine Community College men’s basketball team has largely run roughshod on the opposition this winter, but Wednesday evening, at longtime rival SMCC, the Mustangs found themselves facing a big dose of adversity.

Trailing, 50-45, at halftime, CMCC was at a crossroads in its next-to-last game before the semester break, but the Mustangs, starters and reserves both, weren’t about to suffer a loss.

CMCC opened the second half on a 10-2 run to turn momentum, answered several Seawolves’ rallies and gradually pulled away for a 95-85 victory, its 13th without a loss this winter and its eighth in a row in conference play.

“It was a typical CM-SM game,” Mustangs coach Dave Gonyea said. “I loved the atmosphere here. We knew SMCC would make it a great game.”

The first half was breathtaking, as the game was tied on three occasions and there were six lead changes. CMCC fell behind, 2-0, but took the lead on a monster jam from Kazre Cummings and went ahead by as many as 11, 19-8, after a floater from reserve Carrington Miller.

Back roared the Seawolves, who went back on top, 25-23, thanks to a 17-4 run. Neither team would lead by more than five the rest of the half, which occurred when SMCC got a putback with 27 seconds left, making it 50-45 Seawolves as the break.


In the first 20 minutes, the Mustangs were paced by 12 points from Miller. They were victimized by stellar 3-point shooting from SMCC, especially former Deering High School standout Jon Amabile, who sank three 3s as part of his 11 points.

As expected, the pace wasn’t quite as frenetic in the second half, but the teams continued to put on a show.

The Mustangs responded to whatever Gonyea said in the locker room, scoring 10 of the first 12 points of the second half to retake the lead. A layup by Cummings and a baseline jumper from Colton Bivighouse (his first points) made it 55-52.

“At halftime, I said, ‘Welcome to adversity.’” Gonyea said. “It was the first time we’d been down.”

SMCC drew even at 57-57, but a free throw from Shaun Hill put CMCC back on top to stay. The Mustangs opened it up as much as nine, 77-68, on a Hill jumper. After the Seawolves drew within four, 77-73, Xavier Colbert drove for a layup, then took a pass from Tim Flanagan and made a layup to push the lead back to eight points.

Again, SMCC got close, making it 84-79, but Cummings made a difficult angle spinner and after a Seawolves’ free throw, Cummings took a pass from Flanagan and made a layup with 1:05 left to produce some breathing room. CMCC then put the finishing touches on its 95-85 triumph.


Miller led all scorers with 19 points. Hill added 18 and Cummings finished with 17. Colbert and Medina both had nine.

“We use 13 guys every game,” Gonyea said. “Forty minutes of pressure makes it tough for other teams to withstand.”

So far, so good for the Mustangs, but there’s still a long way to go before the rivals meet again, this time in Auburn, Feb. 12.

“I’m really happy at 13-0,” Gonyea said. “The kids are working hard. It’s all about chemistry.”

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