PORTLAND — Those expecting offensive fireworks between two of the higher-scoring Class A teams in the state Saturday produced little more than some smoldering embers.
Dustin Cole scored 22 points to lead Bonny Eagle to a pedestrian 48-32 victory over Scarborough in a Western Class A boys’ basketball quarterfinal at the Portland Expo.
“I think it was mostly because of nerves,” Cole said. “Everyone was anxious to play the game. Our defense was big. We defended the shooter really well in this game compared to the last time we played Scarborough. That was a big difference.”
A tighter finish was also anticipated. The last meeting between the teams resulted in a one-point overtime victory by the Scots.
Third-ranked Bonny Eagle (16-3) will face seventh-seeded Thornton Academy (13-7) in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
The opening quarter highlighted the teams’ struggles. Neither was able to score with any regularity. The period ended with Scarborough leading 6-5, thanks to baskets by Brendan Hall, Dillon Russo and Sam Wessel. Cole accounted for Bonny Eagle’s points.
The sixth-seeded Red Storm (13-7) used a pair of three-point plays by Sam Terry in the early stages of the second quarter to move ahead 12-7. The lead was short-lived; Bonny Eagle came back with an 11-1 run to build an 18-13 advantage.
Four quick points by the Red Storm, including a 3-pointer by Kevin Manning, got Scarborough back within 18-17, but that was as close as it would get. Cole answered with the next five points, helping the Scots to a 23-19 lead at the half.
“Things could have gone similar to last time (the overtime win), but the bounces came our way a little bit more,” said Bonny Eagle Coach Phil Bourassa.
Scarborough, which was held to single digits in three of the four quarters in its lowest-scoring game of the season, continued to be plagued by a lack of offense in the second half. The Red Storm’s hopes of advancing took another hit when Russo fouled out just 1:35 into the third quarter.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well at all,” said Scarborough Coach Tony DiBiase. “I think you can give some of the credit to the Bonny Eagle defense. They played very well.
“In the second half I thought we had some good looks. We just didn’t knock down shots like we normally can.”
The Scots, meanwhile, didn’t exactly catch fire on offense, but they did enough to stretch the lead. A 10-3 spurt, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Ben Malloy and CJ Autry, moved Bonny Eagle into a 33-22 advantage.
Zach Dubiel all but put the game away by opening up the fourth quarter with consecutive 3s to make it 39-25.
Terry and Hall paced the Red Storm with nine points each.