PORTLAND – Steven Simonds hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with just over two minutes left to give Bonny Eagle the lead, and the Scots held on to beat Deering 44-41 on the opening night of high school basketball Friday.

Simonds, one of the six seniors for the Scots, also hit a 3-pointer from the side to complete an 11-0 run to start the second half and gave his team a 29-28 lead.

Deering recovered to take a 36-34 lead after three quarters, and the game stayed close the rest of the way. Simonds’ second 3-pointer won it.

“We expect a lot out of Stevie,” said Bonny Eagle Coach Phil Bourassa. “He’s a great shooter. That was one of them. We like games in the 40s. Anytime you can win on the road in this league, it’s a great win, especially against a program like Deering’s. I’m sure they didn’t make as many shots as they normally do.”

After outscoring Bonny Eagle 18-6 in the second quarter, Deering went cold in the second half, scoring only 13 points.

“It was kind of a flip-flop second half for us,” said Deering Coach Dan LeGage. “We didn’t get our shots to drop. My hat’s off to Bonny Eagle. They hustled and every 50-50 ball, they got. Simonds hit some big shots.”

After Simonds gave the Scots a 42-41 lead, Deering missed a shot with 1:22 remaining, got the ball back on a steal with 31 seconds left but couldn’t convert.

Cole Libby made two from the line with 3.5 seconds left to make it 44-41. Jackson Frey’s shot from deep on the right side just before the final buzzer that would have sent the game to overtime wasn’t close.

The Scots played strong defense at the start of the game and in the second half.

“Defense was one of the things we emphasized in preseason,” said Bourassa. “We have guards who can create. In the first half we had our opportunities but we turned the ball over too much. Once we calmed down, we were fine.”

The Scots jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Deering tied it at 10-10 before Levi Meggison scored inside to give the Scots the first-quarter lead.

Trailing 17-14, Deering went on a 14-0 run with John Hughes scoring seven straight for the Rams.

A free throw by freshman standout Dustin Cole at the end of the quarter quelled Deering’s run.

Libby scored the first two baskets to start the second half for Bonny Eagle. Meggison and Cole followed with steals and layups before Simonds’ 3-pointer.

Simonds led his team with 12 points. Frey led Deering with nine.

“This win should give a boost to our season,” said Simonds. “It’s great coming out of here with a win.”

Bourassa cautioned about making too much of it.

“It’s only the first game. There’s a long season to go.”

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]