Kareem Canty (New York, NY) found Aleks Dobrovic (Prodgorica, Montenegro) alone directly in front of the rim with less than a second remaining in the contest to cap a dramatic late game rally giving Bridgton Academy a hard earned 82-81 victory over NIA Prep (NJ) Thursday evening at the Wolverdome. BA trailed for much of the second half, falling behind by as many as eleven, before a Corey Spence (Baltimore, MD) three point bucket ignited the emotional comeback with less than five minutes to play. Earlier in the first half the home Wolverines led by as many as nine before a NIA run gave the visitors a 37-36 halftime advantage. Donnie Hale (New Albany, IN) paced the offense for Bridgton Academy with a game high 29 points, including nineteen in the critical stages of the second half. Canty added 20 with Daniel Franca (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Spence contributing 10 each. U-Cincinnati bound forward Shaquille Thomas led the visitors with 28 points.
Coach Lesure spoke about the resilient effort of the team following the game saying, “I told the guys that I had been watching the Jimmy V. Foundation speech last night, and that the signature line was don’t ever give up.” Lesure added, “my father passed away from cancer at a young age and I just learned that a good friend has it, so for our guys to compete to the end like that against a quality team and for our students to react so positively gave it extra meaning for me. From a basketball perspective, we did a good enough job maintaining a pace we like for stretches, but I expect that we will improve some too,” Lesure closed.
The victory raises the Bridgton Academy record to 4-1 for the season. BA travels to Mariannapolis Prep (CT) Sunday afternoon to play the host school in the Hoop Mountain Classic that will feature many of the best prep teams in the Northeast. It will be the first meeting between Mariannapolis and Bridgton Academy.