Lisbon’s Kristy Coleman looks over Morse’s Keegan Companion to the basket during the Unified basketball regional semifinal in Lisbon on Tuesday night. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

 

LISBON — There are nights in basketball when the ball just won’t go through the netting.

During its Unified South semifinal matchup against eighth-seeded Morse on Tuesday, Lisbon had shot after shot hit the rim and bounce away, and some even rolled around the full 360 degrees of the circular iron and before flying out.

Morse’s Keegan Companion gets teh rebound in front of Lisbon’s Jarred Patterson during the Unified basketball regional semifinal in Lisbon on Tuesday night. Morse’s Autin Baltazar, on left and Lisbon’s Michael Farrington, on right, stand by to assist n the play. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

Part of Lisbon’s 14-of-65 shooting game can be directly linked to 6-foot-5 Shipbuilder Keegan Companion, who raised his arms high to disrupt Greyhound shots, leading Morse to a 49-28 victory.

The Shipbuilders (8-3) travel to No. 2 Westbrook (who beat No. 3 Lewiston 58-42 on Tuesday) for the regional final Thursday, while fourth-seeded Lisbon sees its season come to an end with a 7-3 record.

Companion was the mainstay inside for Morse on Tuesday. He blocked five shots, picked up 10 rebounds and scored 16 points, many off pinpoint passes from Cameron Dunlop, who finished with a game-high 17 points, dished out eight assists and picked up four steals.

“We changed things up for our athletes, going to a zone, where Keegan and our taller post players in the middle can defend,” Morse coach Becky Roak said. “Figure 95 percent of the shots come from inside the paint. When he puts his hands up, he is seven feet tall, and it is that intimidation factor. It is to his benefit.”

Morse took control early, darting out to a 7-0 lead as Companion finished off a pair of passes from Dunlop, while Dunlop swished a short jumper and made 1-of-2 at the free-throw line.

Lisbon scored its first points five minutes in as senior Michael Farrington banked in a shot, but the Shipbuilders took off from there, putting together a 10-2 run for a 17-4 lead.

The Greyhounds made a run, using buckets from Noah Austin, Austin Levesque and Dawson Martel as part of a 6-0 spurt to get within nine, 25-16, with 1:59 remaining until halftime.

Lisbon’s Michael Farrington takes aim at the basket while being defended by Morse’s Isaac Smith during the Unified basketball regional semifinal in Lisbon on Tuesday night. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

But Dunlop scored the final six points before intermission for a 31-16 Morse halftime lead, and led a game-clinching 12-0 run to open the second half with his final points, along with three quick assists to Companion, for a 43-16 advantage.

“They are amazing. They work so well together and have come so far. They are a family unit,” said Roak, who watched as Dunlop and Companion combined for 23 first-half points, while Isaac Smith added four.

“It is awesome seeing everyone’s face light up when they score,” said Morse’s Emily Belanger, who soon will be suiting up for the school’s girls lacrosse team. “This gets very competitive, so that is similar to varsity, especially when you get to this point of the playoffs.”

As the second half wore on, Morse continued to play solid defense, forcing 15 Lisbon turnovers and holding the Greyhounds to 21-percent shooting from the floor.

“It is never easy to score for me, but these kids are having fun and that is what counts,” said Lisbon student-coach Hunter Davis, who played varsity basketball for the Greyhounds this season. “They made the shots in practice, but in the game it just didn’t happen. It happens.

“I have so much fun coaching them, seeing them smile when they make a shot or make a pass. I am very proud of them.”

“Our main goal has been to become better defenders this year,” Belanger said. “We know we have really great shooters, so defending is what we needed to do better and we have done that. We all talk on the bus, and there are lots of laughs. It is very exciting.”

Smith chipped in eight points for Morse in the win, while Mollie Crosby added four points, and Courtney Boucher and Michael Laser picked up two points apiece.

With 1:30 remaining, Lisbon seniors Martel, Farrington, Austin and Lucas Francis returned to the court to close out their Unified basketball careers. Farrington led the Greyhounds with six points, while Martel picked up four points and four steals, Austin eight rebounds and six assists, and Francis 11 rebounds, four steals and four assists.

Also for Lisbon, Kendrick Patten, Lynn Feely, Kristy Coleman and Levesque finished with four points each.

Cameron Dunlop charges past Lisbon’s Kendrick Patten and Misty Coleman during the Unified basketball regional semifinal in Lisbon on Tuesday night. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn