Orono, Calais Battle in Eastern Maine Overtime Thriller
In a back-and-forth, run-and-gun battle for four quarters and 4 minutes, the No. 1 Calais Blue Devils survived the No. 7 Orono Red Riots, coming away with a 60-57 overtime win and an Eastern Maine title.
Senior center Tyler Niles led the Blue Devils with 29 points, hitting key free throws in overtime, where he went 9 for 10 from the stripe.
Andre Paul added 13 points for the Blue Devils and Kyle Johnson, who fouled out late in the fourth quarter, had 6.
The Red Riots had a chance to tie it with 2.6 seconds left on the clock but a 3-pointer from junior guard Nate Desisto fell short.
Senior Damian Heeger led Orono with 19 points, and sophomore Keenan Collette had 17 points before fouling out in overtime. Desisto was held in check with four points.
It is the first regional championship for the Blue Devils since 2009. Calais will play Dirigo in the state finals.
Houlton Outlasts Dexter For Eastern Maine Title
The Houlton girls outlasted the Dexter Tigers Saturday night, dominating the second half on their way to an Eastern Maine title at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
Freshman Kolleen Bouchard scored 20 points, including 8 for 8 from the free-throw line, to lead the No. 2 Shiretowners to the 46-38 win.
It was No. 4 Dexter who took the lead at the half on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from senior Tasha Pratt. But Houlton came out strong in the third quarter, going on an 8-0 run and outscoring Dexter 12-1 in the third quarter.
The Tigers did not go quietly, however, cutting the double-digit lead to just four points with just 1:20 left in the game. But Houlton responded, hitting key shots down the stretch and going seven for eight from the line in the final minutes.
Sophomore Rylee Warman had 9 points for the Shiretowners, and junior Chelsea Gentle added 7 points. Houlton has no seniors on the team.
Dexter was led by senior Michaela White with 15 points. Megan Peach, the Tigers’ sophomore center, added 7 points.
Houlton will take on Maranacook in the state finals at 7 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center on Saturday, Feb. 28.