BANGOR, Maine — The Fort Kent boys basketball team showed off its balance Tuesday during a 66-45 victory over Central Aroostook of Mars Hill in a Class C North quarterfinal at the Cross Insurance Center.
Five different players had at least eight points for coach Derrick Cooper’s club, which raced out to a 13-0 lead and never saw its advantage drop to fewer than four points during the first half and eight points after intermission.
“It was breaking pressure and our lockdown defense,” said Jacob Daigle, the Warriors’ 6-foot-6 senior center who finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds. “It’s worked all year and we continue to ride it.”
Junior guard Camden Jandreau added 17 points and five steals for fifth-ranked Fort Kent, which will face two-time defending state champion George Stevens Academy in Friday’s 8:35 p.m. semifinal.
Caleb Delisle, a 6-foot-3 junior, contributed 12 points and six rebounds for the Warriors while sophomore guards Jace Rocheleau and Eden Paradis combined for 17 more points.
Sophomore forward Hayden Kingsbury had 14 points and five rebounds for No. 4 Central Aroostook, while junior guard Ben Thomas scored 10 points.
Fort Kent (16-4) scored two nine-point victories over Central Aroostook (14-6) during the regular season, and set an early tone for a similar result in the third meeting by handling the Panthers’ defensive pressure and crashing the offensive boards.
All five starters scored for the Warriors within the first five minutes of play, with Central Aroostook unable to counter until Kingsbury made it 13-2 with just 2:28 left in the opening quarter.
“We struggled toward the end of the (regular-season) games breaking their full-court pressure,” said Cooper, “so we just wanted to show everybody that we have good athletes who can break pressure. We worked on that heavily in practice and did a good job of breaking pressure today.”
CAHS trailed just 24-20 before Fort Kent scored the final 10 points of the first half, a run ignited by a Rocheleau 3-pointer and capped off by a buzzer-beating putback by Daigle.
When Central Aroostook crept within 41-33 midway through the third quarter — just before an extended delay as some collision-induced blood was cleaned off the floor — Daigle went inside for a 3-point play and Paradis buried a 3-pointer as bookends of a 9-0 run that gave Fort Kent a 49-33 cushion at the end of the period.
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