The Machias boys basketball team boasts an imposing front line regardless of class, with Shane Feeney, his cousin Kashman Feeney and Kyle Anderson averaging about 6 feet, 6 inches tall.
That collective height proved decisive Thursday evening as the top-ranked and undefeated Bulldogs overpowered No, 4 Wisdom 72-34 in a Class D North semifinal at the Cross Insurance Center.
The three big men combined for 57 points and 30 rebounds as the 2020 regional champions, now 17-0, advanced to Saturday’s 10:45 a.m. North title game against No. 2 Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook, a 71-42 winner over No. 6 Schenck of East Millinocket in the earlier semifinals.
“The big thing with us is we can give teams tremendous matchup problems,” Machias coach Jim Getchell said. “Our trio of big guys took the game over tonight, but if we need it we also have great guard play.
“These guys are very unselfish with the basketball, they’ve played together for a long time, and we said our game plan for today was to get it inside because that’s where we had a distinct advantage.”
Shane Feeney, a junior forward, led the way for Machias with 28 points and 13 rebounds, while classmate Kashman Feeney had 19 points and eight rebounds. Anderson, a senior center, added 10 points and nine rebounds as the Bulldogs took control with a 16-0 first-quarter run and then pulled away after Wisdom had closed to within 14 points early in the second half.
“We all have a lot of height, and we’ve been working all year long on boxing out and getting rebounds and we’ve come along and we’re working really well,” Shane Feeney said.
Carter Pelletier paced Wisdom with 11 points, and Dominick Gendreau added 10, including three 3-pointers.
The Pioneers, making their first semifinal appearance since 1996, end their season at 13-6.
Shane Feeney scored 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the field as Machias moved out to a 32-15 halftime advantage.
The Bulldogs got off to a sluggish start offensively and led just 7-6 after a 3-pointer by Wisdom’s Logan Lagasse late in the first quarter, but Machias’ height advantage began to take hold as coach Getchell’s club embarked on a 16-0 run over the next four minutes.
“We weren’t setting up our plays well, we were rushing our shots and just taking the first shot we could get,” Shane Feeney said. “After a couple of timeouts to settle us down we got our offense set up.”
Kashman Feeney scored six points during the surge and Shane Feeney added five as Machias built its lead to 19-6 by the end of the first quarter and 23-6 before Wisdom finally ended the run with a Carter Pelletier basket with 5:21 left in the half.
Wisdom made a run at the outset of the second half, with freshman Camden Pelletier setting up back-to-back 3-pointers by Gendreau and Carter Pelletier to draw the Pioneers within 35-21 and prompt a Machias timeout with 5:56 left in the third quarter.
Machias responded with defense, forcing three Wisdom turnovers to fuel a 9-2 run that extended its lead to 44-23, and the Bulldogs weren’t threatened again.