Bangor's Matt Holmes, a senior, shoots a jumper against Brewer with Witches defender Ryder Goodwin guarding him on senior night at Bangor High School on Thursday, Feb. 9. Credit: Adam Robinson / BDN

On senior night, the Bangor Rams boys basketball team showed energy and tons of effort as they hosted Class A’s top-seeded Brewer Witches at Bangor’s Red Barry Gym on Thursday night.

After a valiant first half in which the Rams kept the Witches within single digits at the break, Brewer (17-1) stepped on the gas in the third with a huge run and finished the regular season with a 64-50 victory over their cross-river rivals.

Bangor’s Matt Holmes started off the scoring for the Rams (2-16) with a 3-pointer, one of three the senior made on the night, finishing with 11 points. Brewer answered with a quick 6-0 run capped off by a Ryder Goodwin triple.

Brewer took an 18-7 lead after eight minutes thanks in part to five points each from Goodwin, Evan Nadeau and Brady Saunders, but Bangor kept chopping away at the deficit in the second quarter.

The Rams outscored the Witches 18-14 in the second quarter thanks to six points from Holmes and four from senior Wyatt Stevens. At the half, Bangor trailed Brewer 32-25.

In the teams’ first meeting this season, Brewer ran away with an 86-29 win on Jan. 3.

“We’ve seen the progression throughout the season and have made really good progress,” Bangor head coach Brady Libby said. “We haven’t come out on the winning end of a lot of them but they’ve competed hard and what I am proudest of is how they bought in, trusted the coaching staff, each other and hopefully everyone can see it from how they play on the court.”

Brewer began the third on fire from the field, starting the quarter on an 11-0 run.

“The energy we had just wasn’t what we wanted it to be in that first half,” Goodwin said. “In the second half we turned it around and coach gave a great speech at halftime in the locker room and got us fired up.”

Saunders scored six of his 22 points in the third quarter, while Goodwin added five more. Goodwin finished with 14 points.

“I try to do the little things,” Goodwin added. “Get the rebounds, talk, do the little things because I know I have guys that can do special things. Brady, Brock [Flagg], Evan [Nadeau] does his thing so I want to do the little things to help.”

The third quarter was Brewer’s best, outscoring the Rams 19-6. The defensive intensity picked up for Brewer after a first half that kept Bangor within striking distance.

“The physicality on defense was good,” Goodwin added. “We take pride in that. The defense in the Skowhegan game wasn’t where we wanted it to be and we just kind of got that back and hopefully take that into the playoffs.”

Saunders added six more points in the fourth quarter to help put away Bangor.

On the Bangor side, Connor Boone, a senior, poured in six of his 14 points in the fourth.

While they didn’t come away with the win, Libby said the team is happy with its progress during the regular season and is excited for a clean slate in the Class AA North playoffs next week.

“It’s the end of one chapter,” Libby said. “It didn’t go the way we wanted it, it was disappointing but the best part is now everyone is 0-0 now. I think we’re playing our best basketball at the right time of the year and we are excited to go and compete with whoever our matchup is and see if we can make a little bit of noise down the stretch.”

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Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson is a native of Auburn, Maine, and graduate of Husson University and Edward Little High School. He enjoys sports, going on runs and video games.