FREEPORT — Pine Tree Academy finally caught up to Rangeley, took a brief lead, but then ran out of gas for the rest of the first half. 

The Breakers didn’t recover and the Lakers stayed afloat for a 65-44 Class D South boys basketball victory Thursday. 

The Lakers (8-1) jumped out to a 17-8 lead, and led 19-14 after one quarter, but the Breakers (5-4) took a 22-21 lead on Chris Amisi’s transition layup 3:23 into the second.

“He’s better than anybody in our league at taking the ball to the basket, there’s no question,” Pine Tree coach Jeff Davis said. “And he’s actually got a good jump shot, but it’s about when to take it. But his hustle, his work, his athleticism, his rebounding tonight … is absolutely crucial to our team.” 

Davis said the key to the early comeback was his team’s half-court trap defense. 

“That 1-2-2 trap has been kind of our bread-and-butter this year, with the type of team that we have, with the athleticism and limited basketball experience,” he said. “With that said, we came out and we were not going all-in on it. So once the guys committed to playing it we were forcing a lot of turnovers. So when Rangeley was turning the ball over we were getting our chances, and getting the fast break.” 


Soon after taking that brief lead (Ian Lillis answered with a long jumper for Rangeley), an exhausted Amisi came out of the game. The Lakers then finished the half on a 16-2 run to go up 37-24. 

“When we played well, we’re pretty good. And when we want to play bad, we’re pretty good at that, too,” Rangeley coach Jeff LaRochelle said. “And I’ve said that multiple times. It’s what we’re trying to iron out in practice.” 

Lillis was the key offensively for the Lakers in the second quarter and beyond. He poured in 10 of his game-high 27 points in the second, and all but four of his points were after the first quarter. 

“He’s good. I got to get him that way all the time,” LaRochelle said. “But when we needed him, he did it.” 

The Breakers lost senior guard Josiah Yeaton to a gruesome arm injury while trying to prevent a Trevor Dolbier fast-break layup with 1:51 left in the first half. 

“It’s really unfortunate. It looks like he’s probably going to be done for the year,” Davis said. “Really good kid, works hard, and in our defense his athleticism brings a lot to the table.” 

Yeaton earlier had hit one of Pine Tree’s five 3-pointers in the game. Ricky Morales made two in the second quarter during the Breakers’ run, and finished with 10 points. Amisi also made two treys as part of his team-high 21-point effort. 

Dolbier scored 10 points for Rangeley off the bench, including five straight free throws after Yeaton’s flagrant foul that led to his injury. Dolbier was the Lakers’ lone reserve. Kenny Thompson also scored 10, eight of those in the second half. 

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