FREEPORT — Coach Jeff LaRochelle wanted Rangeley team to keep shooting.

After early struggles, the message finally paid off for the Lakers early in the third quarter when they pulled away from the Pine Tree Academy Breakers on their way to a 68-33 boys’ basketball win Tuesday night.

“If you take yourself out of it mentally and stop shooting, you’re never going to have that quarter where it started to happen for us,” LaRochelle said. “But, they got through it. It’s a good road win.”

The Lakers started the game shooting 3-for-10 from the field. Nolan Boone set the pace in the opening quarter, working his way to the hoop for a pair of early baskets.

The Breakers were unable to score midway through the quarter, allowing Rangeley to go on a 8-2 run that was ended when Pine Tree’s Jobet Tardiff picked up his own rebound and went back up for two points. Both teams struggled to find an offensive rhythm early, though, and the Lakers’ lead was only 8-6 after one quarter.

“We had some layups that just came off the backboard hard,” LaRochelle said. “We took the lead but then we let them back in. It’s kind if what we’ve been doing this year.”

“We had so many turnovers tonight,” Breakers coach Trevor Schlisner said. “When our star player Chris Amisi did give up the ball we couldn’t catch the and couldn’t finish which led to some discouragement.”

Pine Tree Academy regained the lead early in the second quarter. Noraj Jean-Louise spun on his man inside for an easy bucket, then Amisi broke through Rangeley’s pressure to get to the hoop. The Breakers caused three turnovers to start the quarter before Rangeley settled down.

Boone sparked a 11-0 Rangeley run to end the half by knocking down a pair of jumpers. Will Brey took advantage of a Breakers turnover and drove to the hoop for two. Brey added another at the free-throw line to cap off the run and send Rangeley into halftime with a 19-10 lead.

“I felt OK at half,” Schlisner said. “I didn’t feel good about our offense because we only scored 10 points. That’s not normal.”

Rangeley began the third quarter on a 9-2 run. The Lakers forced Pine Tree into four early turnovers with full-court pressure. Ian Willis led the Rangeley run with a quick four points out of the break.

“All of a sudden, we get going, and our press works really well,” LaRochelle said. “We wore them down. I told them it might not happen until the third quarter but it will wear them down.”

With Pine Tree trailing 42-19 midway through the third, Amisi pulled off an impressive seven-point swing in under 10 seconds. After missing the second of two foul shots, Amisi drifted beyond the arc to knock down a trey. He then picked off the ensuing inbound pass and went up for another two, adding a foul shot for a three-point play.

“It’s tough. We really have one offensive threat,” Schlisner said. “We’re trying to move the ball two or three times.”

Despite Amisi’s efforts, the Breakers still trailed 44-28 after three quarters. The fourth quarter belonged to the Lakers, who knocked down five straight shots from the field early in the period. Kenny Thompson helped Rangeley pull away for the win with eight points in the final quarter, while Boone knocked down a two shots from 3-point range.

Rangeley improves to 8-4 and sits in fourth place in the Class D South Heal point standings. The Lakers were led by Boone’s 21 points, while Thompson chipped in 15.

Pine Tree falls to 3-9 with the loss. Amisi finished with 15 points.


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