STANDISH — Phil Bourassa, the Bonny Eagle boys’ basketball coach, said he wants to soak in Dustin Cole’s final season.

If the first game is any indication, there’s going to be a lot to soak in.

“He’s really going to be fun to watch,” said the coach of his star player.

Cole scored 31 points with 18 coming in the second half as the Scots held off a much taller Deering team 67-58 on the opening night of high school basketball in the state.

Cole, who will likely become the school’s all-time leading scorer next game, spaced out his points, but also provided the big basket, the key steal or a dribble out of a trapping defense when his team needed it.

“Dustin was gutsy as always,” said Bourassa. “He always plays hard at both ends of the court. Deering is a tough team. We were fortunate tonight.”

Deering made runs under first-year coach Todd Wing but never led after the opening quarter. The Rams had a distinct height edge on Bonny Eagle, which several SMAA teams will be able to claim.

But all five Bonny Eagle players handle the ball well, which that makes them tough to contain and, as Wing pointed outm “tough to come back against.”

“Dustin Cole is a handful. On the 50-50 balls Bonny Eagle got most of them and I think that was the difference. I’ll tip my hat to Bonny Eagle,” he said.

Trailing 50-40 entering the fourth quarter, Deering scored the first two baskets. Nick Dubay of Bonny Eagle scored his only points of the game, a 3-pointer from the corner. Patrick Lobar, a rugged 6-foot-4 forward for Deering, scored inside, but Cole responded with a long 3-pointer from the side.

Liam Densmore hit an equally long 3-pointer for the Rams, but Malloy kept the Scots comfortably ahead with a 3-pointer from the corner to make it 61-49.

Malloy, a 6-foot-2 junior, finished with five 3-pointers and 17 points.

Cole, who averaged 28.5 points a game as a junior, had three 3-pointers and was 11 of 13 from the line. Zach Dubiel and Dubay were the other scorers from beyond the arc for the Scots.

Deering cut it to 64-58 with 45 seconds remaining on a 3-pointer by Ahmed Ali, but that’s as close as the Rams could get.

It was an up-and-down game with a lot of contact under the boards and on the perimeter.

“We kept our composure,” said Cole. “We were doing what we had to do to win. We’ve only had four practices with our whole team. Deering kept making runs. I think it was our composure that made the difference.”

After missing his first few shots, Malloy heated up, hitting four 3-pointers in the first half, three in the opening quarter. The Scots went from a four-point deficit to a seven-point lead as Malloy ran off 11 straight points. He didn’t score in the third quarter and had the big 3-pointer in the fourth.

“He’s still shaking his football legs,” said Bourassa.

Three of Bonny Eagle’s starters were key players in the Scots’ recent Class A football championship – Malloy, Dubiel and Jon Woods, who provided a lot of energy on the court

“Ben played (hard),” said Bourassa. “We’re going to keep feeding him the ball. You can count on Ben.”

Cole, the point guard, said the same thing.

“When Ben has the hot hand, you have to keep feeding him the ball,” he said.

Lobor led Deering with 14 points while Ali had 13. Deering got into early foul trouble at the guard position and had three players eventually foul out.

“We have to do a better job of adjusting to the referees,” said Wing. “Our guard play struggled early. This team has a lot of promise. We’ll be a different team at the end of the season than we are now.”

Bonny Eagle led 36-21 at halftime, thanks to a 17-8 edge in the second quarter. Cole and Dubiel led with five points apiece in the second quarter.

Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter:TomChardPPH