BANGOR, Maine — Tyler Pye stands about 5-foot-11, but that didn’t stop the rugged senior from asserting himself in the post on Friday night.

Pye scored five of his 18 points to spearhead an 11-2 third-quarter surge that helped the third-seeded Golden Bucks gain the upper hand on the way to a 49-44 Class C North boys basketball semifinal victory over Hodgdon at the Cross Insurance Center.

“In games we’ve won, we’ve done that all year,” Bucksport coach Larry Deans said of the spurt. “I was a little concerned, because normally the games we’ve won this year, it’s the third quarter.”

Bucksport (16-4) plays No. 1 George Stevens Academy in Saturday’s 8:45 p.m. regional championship game.

Seventh-seeded Hodgdon (12-9) battled almost possession for possession with the Golden Bucks, but it could not sustain its effectiveness in the fourth quarter.

Pye was part of a two-pronged inside attack for Bucksport along with classmate 6-foot-5 Riley Macleod. Pye, who missed the football season because of a knee injury and is wearing a brace, completed his double-double with a game-high 13 rebounds.

“He’s 5-11, 6 feet, but he’s a big dude,” said the 6-5 Macleod, who worked from the high post in the second half and fed the ball down low to Pye. “Nobody’s going to push him around.”

Macleod registered 17 points and 10 rebounds for the winners, and Kyle Jackson scored five of his 10 points in the fourth period.

Senior Jimmy Buzzell was the catalyst for Hodgdon with a game-high 19 points and seven rebounds, and junior Daden Palmer posted 16 points and four rebounds. Blake Woods added six points and four boards.

Clinging to a 33-32 lead, the Golden Bucks started clicking about two minutes into the final quarter. Pye got things going with an offensive rebound hoop that culminated in a conventional three-point play.

Hayden Craig followed with a 13-foot jumper from the lane, before Woods answered for the Hawks with a close-range basket off a feed from Palmer.

However, consecutive turnovers against Bucksport’s 2-3 zone resulted in a fast-break layup by Pye and an offensive rebound bucket by Jackson that gave the Bucks a 42-34 advantage with 3:16 remaining.

“We just hit a couple shots in a row. We were feeling good,” Macleod said. “Momentum builds from there.”

Hodgdon rallied behind a basket from underneath by Woods and Buzzell’s 3-pointer, but Jackson countered with a drive to the hole to reinstate the five-point lead.

Bucksport made five of seven free throws down the stretch to put the game away.

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...