POLAND — When the 3-pointers stopped falling for Poland on Saturday night, the Knights didn’t get stops at the other end of the court as convincingly or consistently, either.

It added up to a fourth-quarter flourish for Waynflete, in the form of a 17-4 finishing kick and a 58-45 WMC boys’ basketball victory.

Abel Alemayo, Milo Belleau and Willy Burdick each scored a pair of buckets in the final period, and the Flyers (12-2) — No. 3 and chasing Dirigo and Winthrop in Class C South — hit five of their final six free throws to put it away.

Poland (6-8) went four minutes without a point while Belleau, Burdick, Christian Brooks and Alemayo all connected to rip open a game that had been knotted at 41.

“We knocked down some shots at the end of the third and we kind of started settling a bit. You expect that we’re going to hit another one, and it’s going to get us going again,” Poland coach Tyler Tracy said. “That was kind of the flow of the game. We’d go on a run, then sputter, then go on another run. It was the same with them. We just never made that final run.”

That pattern was never truer than in the third quarter.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Patrick Kuklinski and Nate Chouinard triggered an 11-0 Poland push that concluded with a John Fossett layup and another Chouinard triple for a nine-point lead, 33-24, with 4:52 remaining in the period.

Back stormed the Flyers after a timeout. Yai Deng banked one in from close range ahead of Waynflete’s lone 3-pointer of the night, courtesy of Will Nelligan.

A drive by Alemayo and last-second dish to Brooks for an easy bucket cut it to two, and Alemayo’s steal set up his own bucket on the break to pull Waynflete even.

“I asked our guards to be a little more aggressive with the ball,” Waynflete coach Rich Henry said. “Not just drive into the lane to see what would happen, but drive into the lane to score.”

Alemayo and Belleau continued the onslaught, making it 13 unanswered points and a 37-33 Flyers’ lead with 1:49 to go.

The Knights pinned their hopes back at the perimeter and reaped back-to-back bonus balls from Kuklinski and Kurtis Leighton to reclaim the lead. Belleau tied it again at 39 to end the stanza.

“Poland’s tough. They shot the ball well. They scrapped,” Henry said. “Tyler always has a hard-nosed team, fundamentally sound.”

Belleau led all scorers with 15 points. Alemayo amassed 12 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and five steals. Brooks bagged 12 points and eight rebounds. Deng delivered 10 points and seven boards.

Fossett fueled Poland with 12 points and 18 rebounds. Kuklinski collected 10 points, Chouinard notched nine and Caleb Hodgkin had eight.

The Knights’ couldn’t locate Fossett and Hodgkin in the low post often enough to get to the free throw line. Poland attempted only two in the game and missed both. Waynflete was 11-of-18.

“We’ve been knocking down shots. Nate Chouinard has hit six 3s twice in the last three games. It’s been good, because teams do collapse on John,” Tracy said. “But we only went to the foul line twice. That shows a little bit of us not pounding it inside, not going to the rim strong, and settling. We need to go to the foul line more. That’s generally what helps us out.”

Fossett’s reverse layup answered an Alemayo jumper to start the fourth quarter and keep it even.

Poland answered Waynflete’s go-ahead surge with a Fossett hook and a Hodgkin second-chance hoop to claw within four at the 2:05 mark, but Belleau bottomed out a fall-away jumper from the right baseline as he was being fouled to launch the 3-point play that put it of reach.

“Milo just knocked down big shots,” Tracy said. “You expect that. You just kind of hope you can contain it.”

Waynflete’s largest lead was six and Poland’s four in a cold-shooting but closely contested first half.

Chouinard and Leighton 3s (Poland nailed seven in all) were the foundation of a 12-2 Knights surge that connected the quarters and produced a 20-16 lead with 3:20 left.

Brandon Ameglio, Alemayo and Brooks retorted with the final six points of the half for the Flyers, who also have beaten Class A Falmouth and Fryeburg and Class B Wells, Sacopee Valley and Freeport this winter.

“We weren’t focused, to be honest, in the first half. I think it’s part of the January grind,” Henry said. “We’ve had a tough schedule, and it’s kind of back-ended with Falmouth, Lake Region, Poland. Hopefully it will make us better for the playoffs, and we’ll see how it goes.”

Poland missed out on a chance to solidify its seed in the Class B South tournament. The Knights are safely in the field but could fall anywhere from fourth through eighth. They currently reside at No. 7 in the Heal Point standings.

“It hurts, because it would have been a lot of points and would have helped put us in a good situation,” Tracy said. “We’re getting close. You want to be playing your best these last two weeks going into the tournament, and we’re clicking. We’ve got to get it all going.”

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