ORLANDO, Fla. — The Maine Athletic Club 17-and-under boys basketball team opened play in the classic (consolation) bracket of the AAU 11th-grade national championships Friday with a pair of victories over Florida-based opponents.

Coach Carl Parker’s team, now 9-3 overall in AAU Supershowcase and national tournament games, was led to its first victory of the day, a 77-59 decision over the Florida Phantoms, by the trio of Mike McDevitt, Kyle Bouchard and Zach Gilpin.

McDevitt, a center from Greely of Cumberland Center, had 22 points and 11 rebounds while Bouchard, a forward from Houlton, had 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Gilpin, a forward from Hampden, finished with 18 points and eight rebounds.

MAC also welcomed back to action guard Cam Scott of Hampden, who had sat out several games due to an ankle injury.

Maine led from start to finish, initially taking a 23-13 first-quarter advantage and expanding the margin to as many as 20 points before the Florida team closed within 45-32 at halftime. Gilpin had 15 first-half points and McDevitt added 12.

The Floridians got as close as 59-53 with a minute left in the third quarter, but a layup by Andrew Middleton of Edward Little of Auburn and a fadeaway 3-pointer by Bouchard at the buzzer pushed MAC’s lead back to 64-53 entering the final period.

Middleton finished with six points and seven rebounds, while Bangor’s Xavier Lewis had five points and three assists, Scott had four points and three rebounds, Justin Rogers of Falmouth had three points and three rebounds and Andrew Cartwright of Nokomis of Newport had one point and one rebound.

Later in the day MAC topped the Warehouse Ballers of Largo, Fla., 69-63 as McDevitt posted team-high totals of 26 points and 16 rebounds.

Gilpin added 20 points and six assists and Bouchard and Rogers chipped in with 10 points apiece.

The Florida team bolted out to a 19-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, but two Gilpin 3-pointers sparked a 17-5 run that helped MAC rally for a 30-28 halftime edge.

Gilpin and Rogers each made a 3-pointer early in the second half to help the Maine team take a 52-45 lead into the final period, and McDevitt hit two long-range shots early in the fourth quarter as MAC stretched its lead to 11 points.

The Maine team continues its run at the nationals Saturday morning.

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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...