BANGOR. Maine — Matt Fleming scored 21 of his game-high 25 points during the first half Saturday afternoon as the Bangor High School boys basketball team knocked off Thornton Academy of Saco 62-45 in a Class AA battle at Red Barry Gymnasium.

The win was the first in four attempts this season for Bangor over a Southwestern Maine Activities Association school and improves the Rams’ overall record to 5-3.

Thornton Academy, which was playing its second game in less than 24 hours after suffering its first loss of the season to Windham on Friday, is 4-2.

Fleming nearly outscored Thornton by himself during the game’s first 16 minutes. The 6-foot-5 junior forward shot 9 of 13 from the field overall and 3 of 5 from beyond the 3-point arc to lead coach Carl Parker’s club to a 35-22 halftime advantage.

And when Fleming was limited to four free throws after intermission, junior guard Damien Vance picked up the slack, scoring 13 of his 17 points in the second half.

Thornton Academy hung around during the third quarter behind the all-around play of junior point guard Anthony Bracamonte and five points in the period from freshman Payton Jones.

The Golden Trojans drew as close as 44-35 when Bracamonte fed Jack Pyzynski for a fast-break layup with just over two minutes left in the period. But Bangor’s defense limited Thornton to one free throw over the next six minutes as the Rams went on a 10-1 run to put the game away.

Back-to-back runners by Vance, first right-handed and then left-handed, helped to extend Bangor’s lead to 52-36 early in the fourth quarter before Fleming capped off the run with two free throws.

Jones finally answered for Thornton with a 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key, but Vance made four free throws and Henry Westrich connected on 1 of 2 tries from the line to give Bangor a 59-39 cushion.

Junior guard Noah Missbrenner added 10 points for Bangor, including two 3-pointers to help the Rams build a 19-6 lead at the end of the first period.

Fleming also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to go with three steals and two blocked shots, while Vance gathered six boards.

Jones led Thornton Academy with 11 points.

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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...