AUBURN — Coming into the season, Pine Tree Academy boys basketball coach Trevor Schlisner knew that his team was athletic, with just a little bit of basketball knowledge.

As the Class D South season has progressed, that athleticism has been both a curse and a blessing, with his players often in foul trouble due to being overly-aggressive, while on the other side rising to pull in rebound after rebound.

On Tuesday at Central Maine Community College, the Breakers put it all together, outrebounding, out-chancing, and most importantly outscoring Rangeley, 62-38, in a key regional matchup.

Pine Tree improved to 8-7 while strengthening its lead over the Lakers for the No. 6 spot in the region, while Rangeley, currently seeded seventh in Class D South, fell to 8-6.

The teams will not have long to wait for a rematch, as the Lakers visit the Breakers in Freeport on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

Pine Tree Academy forward Jared Tamalea’a had a monster game, scoring 14 points, pulling in 21 rebounds, dishing out six assists and picking up three steals. The Breakers dominated the glass, holding a huge 45-23 edge in rebounds while forcing 21 Rangeley turnovers.

“We wanted to come out and not play selfish ball, and we did that from the second quarter on,” Tamalea’a said. “We boxed out and we were looking for our teammates. Our priority is to own the glass.”

“We have had issues on the glass, but when we rebound the ball and play up-tempo we are good,” Schlisner said. “Today, we played unselfish basketball. Sometimes we go one versus four, one versus three, and that doesn’t work. We are a talented team that can make some noise athletically.”

Rangeley came out strong, receiving 11 quick points from Kyle LaRochelle in claiming a 12-6 lead. Pine Tree shot just 4-of-19 from the floor in the opening eight minutes, with point guard Alex Schlisner picking up three fouls over a 12-second span.

“We want to come out with a little bit more intensity, where our issues have been slow starts,” Trevor Schlisner, whose Breakers trailed 13-9 heading to the second quarter, said.

The Breakers took over from there, using an 18-1 run for a 27-14 lead. Evan Owen tallied eight points during the run, while Tamalea’a added six. Alex Schlisner reentered the game and stayed away from his fourth foul while adding four points and two key assists on Chris Amisi baskets as the Breakers went to the half with a 31-22 edge.

Most of the Breakers’ points came on transition, with Pine Tree going 11-of-16 from the floor in the frame.

“It has been the same problem all year, where we stop our rotation and moving the ball, then my offset guys are watching,” Rangeley coach Jeff LaRochelle said after his Lakers were outrebounded 22-12 in the first half. “We work on things in practice, and then we get in the game and they totally space it. It is simple stuff, but it is rotation. We may the first time, but then the second and third, we don’t. It is help and recover.”

The Breakers continued to run in the third, even after Tamalea’a was whistled for two offensive charges and Alex Schlisner picked up his fourth foul. Rangeley went cold, making just 3-of-12 from the floor and committing six turnovers as Pine Tree grabbed a 44-29 lead after three.

Pine Tree’s advantage grew to a game-high 24 points, 57-33, after a basket by Tamalea’a.

“Tomorrow, what do these guys think they are going to see?” Jeff LaRochelle said. “They are not going to do anything different. They have to score on transition inside. We have to change things.”

Alex Schlisner had 17 points and four assists for the Breakers, while Amisi finished with 11 points, five rebounds and four steals. Owen chipped in nine points and three steals, and Pine Tree shot 45 percent (29-of-64) from the field.

Kyle LaRochelle had a game-high 20 points for the Lakers along with six rebounds and three steals. Ian Lillis came off the Rangeley bench to add 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

The Lakers were 14-of-52 (26 percent) from the floor and 6-of-10 from the free-throw line.


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