Howlers hold off PCHS fourth-quarter comeback bid

By Stuart Hedstrom 
Staff Writer

    GUILFORD — With under four and a half minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the boys from Penobscot Valley High School in Howland held an 11-point, 39-28 advantage over Piscataquis Community High School during a Jan. 31 game. The Pirates, who were down by 11 earlier in the final eight-minute session after being outscored 11-4 in the third quarter and had a 10-point deficit on another occasion in the fourth, then got back in the game to challenge Penobscot’s lead.


Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom

    FLYING PIRATE — PCHS senior Trevor Duby soars up to the hoop during a Jan. 31 game against Penobscot Valley High School of Howland on Jan. 31. The Howlers defeated PCHS 49-44. On the right is Pirate sophomore Nathan Burns.

    Senior Logan Sargent got the comeback started by driving to the hoop for a layup and soon after senior Trevor Duby connected on a shot from the free throw line to make the score 39-31.

    At the other end of the court Duby came up with a steal and he took off the other way toward the PCHS basket. Spying freshman Ben Morrill cutting to the hoop from the right, Duby dished off a bounce pass Morrill quickly caught and put up and off the glass for two more Pirate points as the team got within two possessions of the opposition at 39-33.

    Penobscot head coach Jeremy Durost called a timeout immediately following Morrill’s basket to calm his team after the lead shrank from 11 to a half dozen points in a matter of minutes. When play resumed at the 2:09 mark the Pirate defense met the Howlers at half court to apply the press, but Penobscot’s five spread around the 3-point line to move the ball and run off the clock.

    A reach-in foul sent Penobscot senior Griffin Libby to the foul line after 29 seconds elapsed, and he made both his shots — Libby would lead all players with 22 points — to put the Howlers ahead by a 41-33 margin. PCHS got the two points right back as sophomore Nathan Burns put an offensive rebound back up for two — he led the Pirates with 11 points.


Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom

    WHICH WAY DID HE GO? — PCHS sophomore Tristan French freezes the defender in place as he drives by toward the basket.

    Two more free throws after a pair of fouls committed by the PCHS defense put the Howlers up by eight, 43-35, before sophomore Tristan French connected from beyond the 3-point line to put the Pirates within five with 66 seconds remaining.

    Senior Wade Thurlow made a shot from the floor on the ensuing possession, but Penobscot would end up missing its next six free throw attempts as the score remained 45-38. After the sixth consecutive miss PCHS quickly brought the ball up the court and Duby fired off a pass to junior Spencer Martell in the left corner. Martell quickly put up a shot that dropped into the basket, giving the Pirates three more and adjusting the scoreboard to 45-41 with 16.6 seconds remaining.

    With a full-court press on, Penobscot senior Wyatt Foster was fouled on a blocking violation. He then walked up to the other end of the court with the away team in the double bonus, and converted both of his free throw attempts. Freshman Grant Doane stole the ball from PCHS on the next possession, and he made his two foul shots after getting touched to make the game 49-41 with 9.9 seconds to play.


Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom

    TAKE TWO — Senior Delan Patterson of PCHS and Penobscot senior Robert Hallett, with Pirate senior Trevor Duby (20) and sophomore Nathan Burns (34) looking on, jump for the tipoff. The first play ended with the ball being swatted out of bounds, resulting in the players all resuming their positions for another jump.

    French soon launched a deep 3-point shot that hit the mark to cut the Pirate deficit to five at 49-44, and gave French his second 3-pointer of the fourth quarter. But the Howlers then ran out the clock to conclude play and give the 3-12 team a season sweep of PCHS (who fell to 3-13). On Jan. 3 Penobscot won at home against the Pirates 52-47.

    The contest was Senior Night for PCHS team members who are part of the Class of 2013, and during the pregame ceremony four seniors presented roses to their parents. PCHS seniors are Trevor Duby, Delan Patterson, Logan Sargent and Casey Weeks.

    The Pirates are scheduled to conclude the regular season with a game at neighboring rival Foxcroft Academy (7-10 as of presstime) on the evening of Friday, Feb. 8. Foxcroft won in Guilford, 46-26, on Jan. 9.


Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom

    TWICE WITH A THREE — Senior Logan Sargent connected on shots from behind the 3-point line in both the first and fourth quarters.

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