Monday, March 10, 2014
BANGOR — Oceanside had the No. 1 seed and all the momentum.
Hermon had Tyler Thayer and all the faith.
The Hawks erased a late seven-point deficit and dropped the Mariners 68-63 in overtime Saturday in an Eastern Class B boys’ basketball quarterfinal at the Cross Insurance Center.
Thayer, a 5-foot-10 senior guard, scored 40 points, including his team’s final 13 in regulation. He made a 3-pointer, a trio of contested jump shots and the tying free throws with 10.1 seconds remaining. In overtime, he scored nine more points to finish off the biggest victory of his career.
“It’s a lot of pressure on you, but I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Thayer said.
“The team was looking at me and needed me to bring the game back to as close as we could get it. And they got me the ball and just helped me out.”
Oceanside (16-3) recovered nicely after being held to a single point in the opening quarter. Its trio of senior guards responded by driving to the basket instead of settling for jump shots. Isaiah Stone-Patterson finished with 23 points, David Gould had 20 and Nicholas Judge scored 11. But none of them could stop Thayer, and the Mariners left the door open late in regulation by missing four of their final seven free throws.
Hermon Coach Mark Reed, meanwhile, kept telling his team to stick with the game plan.
“We haven’t probably had a situation where we’ve been down seven and come down one possession at a time and made every play that we needed to make,” Reed said. “That happened tonight, I thought.”
It wasn’t just Thayer. Ryan Kelly sank a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 43-40. Donte Bennett soared in to put back a rare Thayer miss in overtime.
And Timothy Verrill, whose early defensive efforts were key, came up with an unlikely basket that gave Hermon (12-8) the lead for good. Trailing Bennett on a fast break, Verrill snared the rebound of his missed layup and found himself where he rarely is.
“I’m not used to playing underneath,” said Verrill, a 5-8 junior. “I was thinking of one of my friends who always up-fakes and then goes, and that was my first instinct. ... I could feel one guy on my left and one right on my back. I was hoping they wouldn’t swat me.”
They didn’t. There was no stopping Thayer, either, and now he and his Hawks are in the semifinals for the first time in his career. They face Caribou at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“It feels good to be here,” Thayer said. “It will be fun.”
Mark Emmert can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: