WISCASSET — The five starting members for Buckfield in Wednesday’s Class C South preliminary boys’ high school basketball game were looking up — literally — as the teams lined up for the opening tip.

With Wiscasset center Ethan James standing 6-foot-7 and several other Wolverines hovering over or near the 6-foot mark, the undersized Bucks struggled in the paint throughout in an 83-39 loss.

The fifth-seeded Wolverines will take on No. 4 Waynflete in a Class C South quarterfinal Monday night at 8 p.m., while Buckfield, the No. 12 seed, saw its season come to an end at 7-12.

James led the way from the start for Wiscasset (14-5). He scored 13 of his game-high 28 points from the paint in the first quarter as the Wolverines built a double-digit lead.

“When you have an advantage like that you have to attack it and that is what we did,” Wiscasset coach Dana Lawrence said. “In the second half, we continued that dominance. At halftime, we talked about getting the ball inside to Ethan and it worked out well for us.”

“We had no match up for that,” said Buckfield coach Mark Thurlow, who saw his team hang in for 16 minutes, trailing 38-25 at the half behind 12 points from Ethan Jackson and nine from Jake Kraske. “I coached in the MVC for years, and that is a good club over there. They will have their hands full with Waynflete, but they are a sleeper.”


Wiscasset dominates

James came out strong for Wiscasset, scoring his team’s first four points before Brandon Sprague grabbed his own miss and scored for a 6-2 lead.

Jackson and Kraske combined for all 10 first-quarter points for the Bucks, but James finished the frame with a hoop and harm for a 21-10 Wiscasset advantage.

Buckfield continued to hang around in the second quarter, with Jackson adding six more points to his total, while Kraske had five and Alec Brough four as the Bucks were out-scored by a slim 17-15 margin.

James had 16 points at the half, with Cody Roberts adding eight. Wiscasset hit on 52-percent of its shots (18-of-34) and out-rebounded the Bucks, 20-5.

Still, Lawrence felt Buckfield’s hustle and Wiscasset’s soft defense played into the close second quarter.


“They had a good effort, but I thought defensively we were lazy in the quarter,” Lawrence said.

The Wolverines turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter. Using an 11-1 run out of the gates, Wiscasset raised its lead to 23 points. James continued to cause havoc inside, while Roberts darted his way to nine third-quarter points as the Wolverines held a 60-32 edge through 24 minutes.

“The last few games Cody has been coming on, and I think we stumbled onto something and we have seen a turnaround in him,” Lawrence said.

“It was important to go inside, and we won this game with our big men in the post,” Roberts said. “We came out in the first half a bit too confident, not playing defense. In the third quarter, we turned up the defense, got ahead by 20 and just buried them from there.”

James, who also had a team-leading eight rebounds, finished off his evening with four more points from the paint in the final quarter, departing with his team ahead 72-38. Roberts picked up 17 points and six boards, while Russell Marr and Grant Hefler came off the Wiscasset bench to split 12 points. The Wolverines ended with a 44-13 rebounding edge and forced 16 Buckfield turnovers.

Jackson paced Buckfield with 14 points, while Kraske finished with 13 points and two steals. Hunter Wiley dished out three assists and picked up two steals.


Now, Wiscasset faces Waynflete in the quarterfinals at the Augusta Civic Center (Monday at 8 p.m.), the teams’ first meeting since facing off in back-to-back years in Augusta, both Flyer wins, including a 59-48 victory in Lawrence’s first season back in the 2011-12 season.

“We will need to play with a little more hustle and composure. We will have to play for 32 minutes with them. They may be a four seed, but they always play like a one seed,” Lawrence said.


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