Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bridgton Downs Rival Brewster in NEPSAC Showdown

Bridgton Academy traveled over to NEPSAC Rival Brewster on Wednesday for a battle between two of the top teams in the country. Having had their game scheduled earlier in the season at Bridgton cancelled, this would be the only time the two teams will meet during the regular season with potential tournament implications on the line.

Brewster came out on fire knocking down a number of 3's in the opening minutes of the game and appeared to be putting the Wolverines in a hole that might just be too deep to get out of. Bridgton however hung tough and battled back, slowly closing in on Brewster's lead before taking a lead of their own thanks to a big run at the end of first half which gave them a 36-34 lead going into the break.

The game remained close throughout the second half as Brewster continued to dial in from long distance, but Dwayne Smith (Toronto, ON) had the hottest hand of the night connecting on six 3-pointers en route to a game high 32 points (18 in the second half). As outstanding as Smith was, he couldn't hold off Brewster's come back bid alone as some strong team defense and timely offense from teammate Carl Blair (Katy, TX) kept the Wolverines on top as they picked up a big road win 85-82.

Smith had a career high 32 points, followed by Blair's 24 points to lead the Wolverines in scoring.

After the game head coach Whit Lesure noted that, "The key for us was getting to halftime with the lead. I'm proud of the effort, poise, and toughness our guys showed in the last 24 hours."

The Wolverines have had a number of games this season that have fallen on back-to-back nights, sometimes even three days in a row. During such stretches it's important for teams to continue executing their brand of basketball and have key players step up in crucial moments, something Bridgton was able to do tonight. "Guys like (Carl) Blair and (Dwayne) Smith played the way we need them to, and the team offense and defense is starting to come together. We'll enjoy this one, but we know tomorrow we have to get back to work and prepare for Winchendon" said Lesure.

With the win Bridgton now stands at 21-9 (8-4 in NEPSAC play) with one regular season game remaining at Winchendon School scheduled for Saturday at 2 PM.

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