Matt Fleming of Bangor is guarded by Brewer's Kobe Rogerson during Tuesday night's basketball game at Red Barry Gym in Bangor. The Rams won 56-50. Credit: Julie Harris | BDN

BANGOR, Maine — Matt Fleming scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds Tuesday evening as the Bangor boys basketball team held off Brewer 56-50 at Red Barry Gymnasium.

The win improves the Rams to 8-6 on the season heading into a big game late Wednesday afternoon at Oxford Hills of South Paris. Both teams currently rank among the top five in Class AA North, and only four of those teams will earn the right to host regional quarterfinal games after the regular season concludes on Feb 8.

Brewer, which began the night ranked ninth in Class A North and one spot out of a postseason berth, fell to 5-10 but will host No. 5 Cony of Augusta on Wednesday evening with a chance to move back into the top eight.

Fleming, a 6-foot-5 junior forward, added four blocked shots for Bangor while anchoring the interior defense for coach Carl Parker’s club.

Bangor also got a big night from junior guard Noah Missbrenner, who scored 13 points, grabbed nine rebounds and added four steals, three during the second half as the Rams held off a determined Brewer team that had seen its tournament chances improve with a one-point win over Class A North No. 3 seed Skowhegan last Saturday.

Damien Vance added 12 points and Henry Westrich 11 for Bangor, which used just five players in the game.

Kobe Rogerson paced Brewer with 20 points, five rebounds and three blocks while Brandon Glidden scored nine points and Nate Laskey and Sean Neal scored seven points apiece. Laskey grabbed a team-leading nine rebounds while Isaac Cummings dished out a game-high eight assists.

This game was close throughout, with Bangor’s 15-8 edge late in the first quarter the largest lead for either team.

Fleming had 12 points and seven rebounds in the first half as Bangor took a 29-24 lead into intermission.

But the Rams missed their first seven shots of the second half and Brewer scored five unanswered points to tie the game at 29-29 on a post-up move by Rogerson 2:08 into the third quarter.

Westrich scored after grabbing an offensive rebound to restore Bangor to a two-point lead, but Rogerson buried a 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key off an inbounds pass by Cummings to give Brewer a 32-31 edge with 5:25 left in the period.

Fleming then gave Bangor the lead for good with a coast-to-coast drive to the rim, and two steals by Missbrenner led to a three-point play and two more free throws by Vance to cap off a run of seven straight points that gave the Rams a 38-32 cushion with 3:30 left in the third.

The Bangor lead was 41-37 heading into the fourth quarter but Brewer refused to go away.

The Witches drew within 42-39 on a 15-foot jumper by Cummings a minute into the fourth quarter but could get no closer, initially as Missbrenner drove for a three-point play to stretch Bangor’s lead to 45-39.

Brewer never got within a single possession again as Bangor made 9 of 12 free throws during the fourth quarter. Missbrenner made all five of his free-throw tries during the game’s final eight minutes.

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...