Wednesday, March 12, 2014
By Bill Stewart
AUGUSTA — The Forest Hills boys’ basketball team expected to be challenged at some point in the Western Class D tournament.
That point came Saturday in the quarterfinals, as the top-seeded Tigers got all they could handle from No. 9 Islesboro.
Ryan Petrin scored 30 points and Tanner Daigle added 10 as Forest Hills secured a 60-45 win Saturday afternoon at the Augusta Civic Center.
“Hats off to Islesboro,” said Forest Hills Coach Anthony Amero. “They came in prepared. We just couldn’t break their backs today. Every time we got up 11 or 12 points, they just came back and made a basket. This wasn’t an easy game.”
Forest Hills (17-2) advanced to play No. 4 Valley (15-4) in a regional semifinal Wednesday.
Islesboro, which upset No. 8 Richmond in the preliminary round, finished 9-9. Fin Conte led the Eagles with 16 points. Cameron Jack added seven.
“We didn’t really know what to expect from them,” said Daigle, who also grabbed 12 rebounds. “We were expecting to play Richmond. We weren’t expecting them to come in here and hit all their jump shots. They just kept hanging around.”
Forest Hills led 26-15 at the half, and the teams traded baskets in the third quarter. The Eagles pulled within nine when Conte hit a 12-foot jumper midway through the third quarter. However, Petrin scored 10 points in the quarter to help keep the Tigers ahead.
“He is a longtime starter for us,” Amero said. “He had a hell of a game. He put us on his back.”
The Eagles opened the game playing man-to-man defense but switched to a 2-3 zone in the second half.
“They switched things up and we had to adjust,” Amero said. “We struggled a little bit. It was also tough for us to get into a rhythm.”
Foul trouble played a part.
Amero said his team averages 4.4 fouls per half, but the Tigers picked up four in the opening four minutes.
“That was tough,” he said. “We had to make a lot of adjustments early, and that didn’t help us.”
Forest Hills finally put the game out of reach when it opened the fourth quarter with a 12-4 run. Petrin scored six points, including a three-point play with 5:19 left in regulation.
“It got frustrating for a little while,” Amero said. “We didn’t feel the game was in hand until there were four minutes to go. That’s when we felt we could close it out.”
“We just kept getting the ball inside,” said Daigle. “We finally took over defensively. They gave us a little scare, but it’s good to move on.”
Bill Stewart can be contacted at 621-5640 or at: