Ben Thomas of the Central Aroostook Panthers gets a shot off against the Bears' Collin Sotomayor during a regular season game. The Panthers are the No. 4 seed in Class C North and the Bears No. 7 in Class D entering the post-season. Credit: Kevin Sjoberg

Central Aroostook senior guard Ben Thomas reached a scoring milestone Tuesday night, and the Panthers needed all of his offense to outlast Greater Houlton Christian Academy 73-70 in overtime in a boys basketball game at the “Panther Palace” in Mars Hill.

The CAHS co-captain entered the contest needing 30 points to reach 1,000 for his career. He finished with 35 as the top-ranked team in Class C North held on for its 10th straight victory after the Class D Eagles rallied from a 22-point deficit to force the extra period.

Coach Jason Woodworth’s CAHS team has not lost since a season-opening 75-53 home-court decision to Houlton on Dec. 5.

GHCA, which trails only Woodland and Jonesport-Beals in the Class D North standings, went into Thursday’s game at Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook at 8-2. Both losses came against to Central Aroostook.

Woodland wins clash of unbeatens

The defending Class D North champion Woodland Dragons firmed up their stance atop the division’s Heal Point ratings at the midpoint of this season Tuesday night during their battle of the unbeatens against Downeast Athletic Conference rival Jonesport-Beals.

The backcourt tandem of Drew Hayward and Chris Plissey combined for 41 points as coach Ben Maloney’s club rallied from a seven-point, first-quarter deficit to earn a 58-41 home-court victory over the Royals. It was the first of two regular-season meetings between the teams.

Woodland (10-0) outscored Jonesport-Beals 19-7 in the second quarter to take a 31-26 halftime lead, then outscored the Royals 18-7 in the fourth quarter to pull away.

Hayward scored a game-high 22 points, including three 3-pointers, for No. 1 Woodland while Plissey added 19.

Adam Robinson scored 11 points for No. 2 Jonesport-Beals (9-1).

These teams split their regular-season games a year ago before Woodland edged Jonesport-Beals 40-37 in the Class D North championship game.

Woodland then fell to Greenville by a single point, 47-46, in the state final.

The Dragons are set to host a pair of Class C North tourney contenders in their next two outings, Saturday afternoon against 6-3 Madawaska and Monday afternoon against 6-3 Fort Kent. Jonesport-Beals returns to action Friday evening at another Class C North team, 7-3 Sumner of East Sullivan.

Woodland and Jonesport-Beals play their regular-season rematch Monday, Feb. 4, at Jonesport.

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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...