Spruce Mountain’s Tate Walton goes up for two points ahead of Carrabec’s Liam Serafino (12) in an MVC regular season finale at the Phoenix Dome on Wednesday night. (Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi)

JAY — Spruce Mountain coach Scott Bessey threw caution to the wind for senior night and enjoyed a night of fun, hugs and tears.

It was a memorable evening for the Phoenix’s four seniors — Carson Gross, captains Tate Walton, Andrew Shaw and Kayle Stewart — who all helped steer Spruce Mountain (14-4) to a lopsided 77-37 victory over winless Carrabec (0-18) in a Mountain Valley Conference boys’ basketball finale at The Nest on Wednesday night.

It was like a revolving door on the Spruce bench, with substitutes and starters rotating in and out, especially after the Phoenix built a 30-6 lead after the first quarter.

“I don’t care (about this game),” Spruce Mountain coach Scott Bessey said. “I don’t care if we played good. I don’t care if we played bad. I don’t care about anything but the seniors, and they were recognized and I thought we really did a good job recognizing them for four years.

“That’s all the night was about. Winning, losing or playing well, we’ve got 10 days before the tournament and we can get prepared without worrying too much about tonight. It was ceremonial night and I thought we did a pretty good job.

But Gross, who went 2-for-2 at the free-throw line, was the point man on this win, scoring a team-high 14 points. He was also being fed pass after pass in the first half from his Spruce teammates who wanted him to dunk the ball.

“He has been able to dunk easily since his sophomore year,” Bessey said, “and we haven’t had a dunk in a Spruce Mountain game since Season 1, seven years ago.

“So it’s senior night, and he’s a senior and so we tried to get him cherrypicking, we tried to get him a couple of opportunities and he got a couple of opportunities and he just kind of choked a little bit.”

By halftime, the Phoenix were good to go with a 43-16 lead, with most of the substitutes seeing plenty of game time.

Stewart and Walton each scored 10 points and Jack Bryant contributed 13 and knocked down three of Spruce’s nine 3-pointers. Shaw helped out with his nine points.

For the Cobras, senior Nikkolas Dube threw in the game-high 26 points, nine of which game from his three 3-pointers.

“He was our leading scorer for the year,” Carrabec coach Mike Rowe said. “He’s done a really good year for us. Plays really, really hard. Going to miss him.”

“Spruce is tough. They have a good team, some very good senior players. They have some good players coming off the bench. They play hard, great outside shooters, played really good defense.”

While the boys’ basketball team took center stage, the Phoenix senior cheerleaders were also honored, including Emaline Dorey, Hannah Maurais and captains Anna Bradford, Ashlyn Williams, Avery Williams and Harmony Castonguay.

Senior Kayle Stewart and Spruce Mountain coach Scott Bessey hip bump each other after Stewart took his name off the wall during senior night at The Nest in Jay on Wednesday night. (Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi)

Spruce Mountain Carson Gross (21) tries to dunk the ball as Carrabec’s Dimitri Turcotte (20) looks on in an MVC regular-season finale at The Nest in Jay on Wednesday night. (Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi)

Spruce Mountain senior Andrew Shaw greets his mom with a flower during senior night at The Nest in Jay on Wednesday night. (Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi)


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