No. 1 Calais (16-3) fended off a charging Penobscot Valley (11-9) on Tuesday in their boys Class C North quarterfinal with a 46-36 victory at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
The win puts Calais into the semis against No. 4 Fort Fairfield (15-5) at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Penobscot Valley struggled from the field early, shooting 1-for-10 in the first quarter and trailing Calais 11-4 after a period.
In the second quarter, Penobscot Valley’s Gabe Reed notched his third foul of the game with 3:18 left in the first half. From there, Calais went on an 8-0 run to end the first half and took a 21-12 lead into the third quarter.
Jacob Sockabasin grabbed six rebounds in the first half and Jace Cook scored 10 points in the first half for Calais.
Sockabasin finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds for Calais, while Cook finished with 12 points.
“My coach told me that if I get 15 rebounds then we win the game and so my goal was to just be aggressive and try to get a rebound,” Sockabasin said.
The Howlers stormed back in the third quarter with three 3-pointers from Isaac Doore, with the final one coming at the buzzer after a steal near midcourt. Penobscot Valley got within one point with 3:20 left, 25-24, but after three quarters trailed 35-29.
Sockabasin scored six more points in the third and pulled in four more boards for Calais.
Calais’ Evan Gillespie scored back-to-back buckets with two minutes to play to give his team a double-digit lead, but the Howlers’ Caleb Moon answered with the team’s eighth three of the game to make it 43-36 with 1:30 to play.
Moon paced the Howlers with 11 points.
“I thought PVHS did a tremendous job, they executed, they hit shots when they had to,” Calais coach Dean Preston said. “As for us, when you get in a tight game sometimes kids go playground on you. So for our kids to trust us, do their job — if your job is to set a screen, set the best one ever — and then they execute. And rebounds were the most important thing ever.”
Calais came at Penobscot Valley with multiple scorers and it was one of the biggest factors in its win.
“We had two or three in double figures and I think that makes us tough to play,” Preston said. “Jace is definitely our leader, he missed some shots today that he normally makes, but that’s basketball. We had kids come off the bench and contribute.”