NORTH BERWICK, Maine — After building a quick 12-point lead on Thursday night, the Marshwood High School boys basketball team got away from what it was doing well and let its rival, Noble, back in the game. The Knights cut the deficit to a meager five points at the half and seemingly had all the momentum heading into the second half.
But sometimes when the going gets tough a call to the bench can provide a big spark.
For Marshwood that call went to Sam Aiguier. He scored eight quick points early in the second half. The spark led the Hawks to a big third quarter, which ultimately helped them put the game out of reach as Marshwood went on to defeat Noble, 54-40, in Maine inter-division action.
“I only got in because others were in foul trouble,” said Aiguier. “I just wanted to provide a spark because our second quarter wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be. I wanted to try get the whole team going, which I think pushed my teammates and they got rolling as well.”
“He was a big spark,” said Marshwood coach Bobby Pratt. “He started the half for us and he usually doesn’t. It was instant offense, which was great for him and great for us because we needed it.”
Aiguier and Aidan Sullivan led a balanced scoring effort for Marshwood with 10 apiece. Cullen Casey had nine, while Ian Bryant and Kye Williams each had six. The Hawks snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 4-6 in Class A South.
“The biggest thing for us was consistency,” said Pratt. “They were switching their defenses around the in the first half and we did a nice job adjusting in the second half. We wanted to get back to playing the way we were in the first quarter.”
Noble (1-8) was led by Tyler Oliver’s game-high 13 points, while Bryce Cantin, Brandon Drake and Garrett Brown each had six.
Aiguier opened the scoring quickly in the second half, as he had a put-back that made it 27-20 just 25 seconds in. Noble cut it to as close as four after a trey by Oliver made it 29-25, but Aiguier got a big offensive board and put-back to make it 31-25.
Sullivan hit a 3 to make it 34-25 and after a Bryant steal, Aiguier hit for a transition layup to make it 36-25 with 4:13 left in the third. Sullivan hit another jumper to make it 38-25, before a pair of Drake free throws ended the run at 9-0.
“We moved the ball well and we were able to get out in transition well because we were getting one-shot rebounds every time on defense,” said Aiguier.
Valentine closed the quarter with a 3 that made it a 16-point game, 43-27. The Knights struggled shooting and scored just seven points in the third.
“The shots just weren’t falling,” said Noble coach Kevin Jackson. “(Marshwood) made an adjustment and switched to a zone, which forced us to shoot from the outside. We didn’t really execute in the half-court and the shots didn’t fall; it is a recipe for disaster.”
The Hawks took a quick 16-4 lead five minutes in, but the Knights were resilient in slowing the high flying Marshwood offense down for the rest of the first half.
Garret Brown got a feed down low from Drake and put home the layup cutting the deficit to 20-11. Tyreek Rose hit on a drive to make it 20-13 and he hit a pair of free throws to cut it to 20-15. An Oliver 3 got Noble within two at 20-18 with 1:33 left in the second quarter, but Williams answered with one of his own to make it 23-18.
“They came with a game plan and took us out of the defenses we normally play in,” said Jackson. “We just went with a basic man, where we held them to just seven points, which allowed us to get back in the game."
Marshwood will host York for a Saturday matinee at 3:30, while Noble hosts Westbrook at 7 p.m. on the same day.
HAWKS 54, KNIGHTS 40
Auguier 5-0-10, Sullivan 3-2-10, Casey 2-5-9, Williams 2-0-6, I. Bryant 2-0-6, J. Bryant 2-0-4, Doyon 2-0-4, Valentine 1-0-3, Gregor 1-0-2. Totals: 21-7-54.
Oliver 4-2-13, Cantin 3-0-6, Drake 1-4-6, Brown 3-0-6, Rose 1-2-4, Trottier 1-0-3, Kennedy 1-0-2. Totals: 14-8-40.
Marshwood 18 7 18 11—54
Noble 7 13 7 13—40
3-Point Goals—Marshwood 5 (Sullivan 2, Williams 2, Valentine), Noble 4 (Oliver 3, Trottier).