BANGOR — Joey McCloskey’s senior season of basketball at Penobscot Valley of Howland was one of extreme congestion — whenever the basketball came to him, two or three defenders were sure to follow.

But the post-tournament schedule has been much more relaxed for the 6-foot-7 center, who still saw the occasional double team during Saturday’s Maine McDonald’s East-West contests but more often had just his own defender to beat.

That freedom enabled McCloskey to total 25 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead the East C-D all-stars to a 103-83 victory over the West at Newman Gymnasium on the campus of Husson University.

“It was nice,” said McCloskey, who earlier in the week had scored 37 points against single coverage in the Penobscot Valley Conference all-star game. “I had Brian [James] and A.J. [Harris, both of Lee Academy] and the other guys getting me the ball, and not being double- and triple-teamed all the time was a sweet feeling.”

In the other boys contest, Alex Furness of Wells scored 32 points as the West A-B stars pulled away from the East midway through the second half for a 105-83 victory.

The East built a 50-40 halftime lead in the C-D game behind 14 early points from McCloskey, who made 5 of 7 field-goal tries in the first half and 11 of 16 overall.

That lead grew to as much as 70-47 on a layup by Caleb Kelly of Central Aroostook of Mars Hill midway through the second half, but the West rallied with 17 consecutive points to draw within 70-64 on a layup by Dan Dickinson of Boothbay.

A 3-pointer by the West’s Tim Whitmore of Monmouth Academy later narrowed the gap to 74-69 with 7:12 left, but the East then made 5 of 6 free throws to extend its lead back to 10 points and soon embarked upon a 17-3 run — including nine points by Kelly and five by Travis Noyes of Fort Fairfield — to put the game away.

Kelly finished with 20 points for the East, while Brandon McLaughlin of Stearns of Millinocket finished with 15 and Noyes and Brandon Robinson of Katahdin of Stacyville each scored 10.

Roger Bachelder of Monmouth led the West with 16 points, while Whitmore scored 15, Andrew Esancy of North Yarmouth Academy had 11 and Dickinson added 10.

“It was a good time to get together with some of the best guys in the state at our level and just have fun,” said Kelly. “You’re all at a level where mistakes don’t happen that often, so when you get the ball you can do pretty much what you want, and that’s what all the guys on this team can do.”

In the A-B game, the East rallied from a 42-35 halftime deficit to forge a 49-49 tie when Tristan Thomas fed Bangor High School teammate Zach Blodgett for a layup with 15:29 left in the contest, which involved two 20-minute halves.

But the West answered with a 15-2 scoring run that began with a drive by Sam Johnston of Greely of Cumberland and also included 3-pointers by Furness and Steve Simonds of Bonny Eagle of Standish.

That gave the West a 64-51 lead on two free throws by Cam Kaubris of Mountain Valley of Rumford, and the East got no closer than 10 the rest of the way.

Furness shot 12 of 14 from the field, including 6 of 6 during his 18-point second half. Johnston added 17 points for the West, while Andrew Shaw of Thornton Academy of Saco scored 15 and Simonds had 12.

“It was really cool playing with a lot of guys that I’ve played against over the years,” said West guard Theo Bowe of Cape Elizabeth. “And it was a high level of competition today. There was some defense out there, too, so it was a good game.

Blodgett and Mr. Basketball Tyler McFarland of Camden Hills of Rockport led the East with 16 points each while Bo Leary of Edward Little of Auburn scored 14 points, Graham Safford of Hampden Academy added 12, Keegan Pieri of Camden Hills had 11 and Thomas finished with 10.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...