BANGOR, Maine — Skowhegan High School freshman guard Adam Fitzgerald had a hot hand in the junior varsity game as hit seven 3-pointers in his team’s win over Bangor.
And he carried that over to the varsity game, nailing three 3-pointers over the first 4:25 of the fourth quarter to help the River Hawks pull away for a 53-39 victory at the Red Barry Gym Tuesday night.
The Class A River Hawks improved to 7-4 with their seventh win in eight games, while AA Bangor fell to 2-9 and has now lost seven of its last eight.
Skowhegan was clinging to a 31-29 lead early in the fourth quarter when the team hit three consecutive 3-pointers to quickly build the lead to 11.
Kyle LePage fed Brayden Saucier for a three from the right side, and, following a Ryan Donoghue steal, Saucier passed to Fitzgerald for a three. Moments later, LePage passed to Fitzgerald for another three.
Bangor’s Matt Holmes sliced the lead to 40-32 with a three, but Quintcey McCray hit an inside basket off an offensive rebound. Then Saucier found Fitzgerald for his third three of the quarter, and LePage scored from inside to make it 47-32 and sew up the victory.
Fitzgerald finished with 12 points and also hit a three in the first half. He was 4-for-5 from long range.
“I was just feeling it,” said Fitzgerald. “The team played great. Bangor gave us a run for the money, but we pulled it out at the end.”
“He’s one of a kind,” said senior forward-center LePage. “He’s a freshman playing out of his mind. It’ll be a good piece for us to have to make a run in the playoffs.”
“He’s a kid who can shoot the ball,” said Skowhegan coach Tom Nadeau. “He got off to a little bit of a slow start, but he has adjusted and is coming along. He has played a lot of basketball all the way up through.”
“We lost their 3-point shooters to start the fourth quarter, and we turned the ball three times and that demoralized the guys,” said Bangor coach Brad Libby.
Fitzgerald’s contribution was crucial because the River Hawks were without 6-foot-6 senior guard-forward Adam Savage for the second straight game due to personal reasons, and 6-5 senior forward-center Collin LePage, Kyle’s twin brother, left the game with a right foot injury with 1:24 left in the first quarter.
Kyle had suffered a lower leg injury three minutes earlier and came out but he returned to the game after his brother was helped off the court.
And then the River Hawks got in foul trouble when McCray and LePage picked up their third fouls midway through the third quarter.
They returned in the fourth quarter, and the barrage of 3-pointers broke the game open.
“To come up here and deal with the injuries and the foul trouble, I was ecstatic to get the win. The boys came ready to go,” said Nadeau.
McCray led all scorers with 13 points. He also had two assists.
Fitzgerald had his 12, and Patrick McKenney contributed nine points and four rebounds. Saucier had six points and two assists, Jack Donoghue had six points and two rebounds, and Kyle LePage finished with four points, eight rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot.
Ryan Donoghue, Jack’s brother, had three steals. Collin LePage had two points, three rebounds and a blocked shot in his limited stint due to the foot injury.
Matt Holmes’ 12 points and five rebounds led the Rams, who were outscored 22-12 in the final quarter. Ryan Ford produced eight points and five rebounds, and Connor Boone finished with seven points, seven rebounds and a blocked shot. Harry Fitzpatrick had five points and Kadin Thomas had four points and three rebounds.
Skowhegan shot 48.8 percent from the floor (20-for-41) while Bangor shot 31.1 percent (14-for-45). Skowhegan outrebounded Bangor 24-21.
Libby said he was pleased with his team’s effort.
“We’re taking steps in the right direction,” he said. “We played really hard, and we took care of their big guys inside. We competed for 24 minutes, but now we have to take that next step and put together a full 32-minute game.”
Up next: Bangor will host Hampden Academy at 5:30 p.m. Friday while Skowhegan will play again at 7 p.m. Monday when it entertains Mt. Blue of Farmington.