Swinging the net in celebration is Graham Siltz (right) alongside Buddy Porter after Southern Aroostook beat Forest Hills for the Class D state championship Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Credit: Courtesy of Jan Vose

Senior Hunter Burpee scored 31 points as Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook defeated two-time defending state champion Forest Hills of Jackman 82-61 and won its first Class D boys state championship since 1991 at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday.

The Warriors, 20-1 on the season, snapped a 65-game winning streak for the Tigers that dated back to 2019, with Forest Hills having beaten Schenck 70-65 in 2019 and Machias 69-53 in 2020 in the state finals.

Forest Hills ends its season 21-1.

Assisting Hunter Burpee in the winning effort were his brother, sophomore Dylan Burpee, with 17 points, and juniors Camden Porter with 11 and Graham Siltz with eight. Sophomore Brennan Burpee added another five points, while senior Chris Caswell scored four points, and junior Drake Weston and freshman Trafton Russell had three points each.

Forest Hills junior Mason Desjardins turned in a 36-point performance, including five 3-pointers. Freshman Blaine Nadeau scored nine points, and sophomores Cooper Daigle had eight and Brandon Welsh had four. Junior Hiram Logston and senior Jackman Daigle added two points each.

Southern Aroostook struck first in the game, courtesy of a Porter layup to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead.

Forest Hills kept the game within 5 points through the game’s first five minutes. Up 17-12 with 2:30 left in the first quarter, Southern Aroostook pulled away to end the first quarter with a 28-14 advantage, courtesy of a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Hunter Burpee.

Forest Hills never recovered.

Southern Aroostook held Forest Hills scoreless for the first 3:30 of the second quarter, going on an 11-0 run before Desjardins sank a floater to make the score 39-16.

The Warriors grew their advantage to 53-26 at halftime.

Hoisting the gold ball are Southern Aroostook’s Chris Caswell (left), Hunter Burpee (middle) and Brennan Burpee after the Warriors beat Forest Hills 82-61 for the Class D state title. It’s the first boys gold ball for SA since 1991. Credit: Courtesy of Jan Vose

The Southern Aroostook boys had no trouble in their first two postseason games in the Class D North playoffs. Southern Aroostook beat Katahdin 81-39 in the quarterfinals and bested Schenck, 71-42, in the semifinals.

The regional championship proved a bit more challenging, but the No. 2 seeded Warriors of Dyer Brook pulled off a 44-37 victory over top-ranked Machias.

Averaging 65 points per game in the postseason, it was the Warriors’ defense that was even more impressive. Southern Aroostook allowed just 39 points per game for opponents during the tournament.

The Southern Aroostook boys captured the Class D state championship Saturday with an 82-61 victory over Forest Hills at the Augusta Civic Center. Credit: Courtesy of Jan Vose

Southern Aroostook last won the regional crown in 1991, when coach Brett Russell was a guard on the team that went on to win that year’s Class D state championship.

The Warriors (19-1 overall) have won 17 straight games. The team’s lone blemish on the year was a close 67-64 loss to Fort Kent — the top ranked team in Class C North. Southern Aroostook beat Fort Kent 57-49 in their second meeting.

Lindsay Putnam

Lindsay Putnam is a senior editor for sports and features at the Bangor Daily News. Lindsay previously worked as an editor and reporter at the New York Post. She's a York Beach native and Colby College...